Yashwant Sinha suspends farmers' stir after demands conceded

Akola (Maharashtra), Dec 6  Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday "suspended" his three-day-long farmers agitation after the Maharashtra government conceded all the seven major demands here.

"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to us today. We had a fruitful discussion. He has assured that all the demands of the farmers would be fulfilled. Accordingly, the agitation has been called off for now," Sinha told mediapersons late on Wednesday evening.

However, the 80-year old former Union Finance Minister made it clear that this should not be viewed as a "victory or defeat" for anybody, but in the interests of the entire farming community of Maharashtra and the rest of the country.

The Shetkar Jagran Manch's demands include compensation to cotton farmers for damage by pink bollworm attack, action against companies manufacturing and selling fake biotech seeds, full compensation to farmers for losses suffered in moong, urad and soyabean cultivation, not disconnecting power supply to agriculture pumps, striking off unjust conditions from the gold mortgage waiver sheme of the state government for farmers, purchase of all farm produce at the MSP declared by NAFED, and clearing the waiver of loans to eligible farmers by January 15

Sinha urged the farmers of the state not to resort to suicides, remain courageous and if they have issues, to connect with the SJM which would attempt to resolve them.

The three-day action, which elicited the support of all political parties in the state - barring the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party - besides Arvind Kejriwal and Mamta Banerjee and others, is likely to be taken forward at the national level to espouse the farmers cause soon.

In the past three days, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party, Congress and other smaller state parties extended support to Sinha, while Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi personally met him (Sinha) in Akola on Tuesday to buttress the farmers cause.

The agitation included farmers laying siege to the Akola Police Headquarters since Monday night till Wednesday morning which was finally resolved amicably later in the day.