Protest against new farm laws: Centre has insulted farmers, says Ajit Pawar


With the impasse between the Centre and farmers protesting the new farm laws dragging on, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday said that the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government had “insulted farmers” by not yielding an inch despite nine rounds of parleys with the agitators.

“The Centre’s apathy towards resolving farmers’ issues is evident in its attitude towards the protests against the new farm laws…why is that even after a frustrating eight or nine rounds of talks, the stalemate is not being broken. Clearly, the Central government is not interested in understanding farmers’ problems,” said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, ahead of the 10th round of talks between the Centre and the protesters on January 19.

He further said that each of the three parties of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government — the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress — wholeheartedly supported the protesting farmers.

“We [the NCP], too, will be joining in the ongoing farmers’ protests soon. Our chief Sharad Pawar has made it clear that the NCP stood firm with the agitating farmers,” Mr. Pawar said. He was speaking on the occasion of the ‘agriculture technology week’ that commenced on Monday at Baramati’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the presence of NCP chief Mr. Sharad Pawar.

About the results of gram panchayat elections in the State, the Deputy Chief Minister said that they were in favour of the MVA government.

“The overall political picture in Maharashtra appears to be undergoing a big change after the results of the Legislative Council elections held last year. The gram panchayat results, too, seem to be a step in that direction,” he said, adding that in most of the places, the Congress, the NCP and the Sena had retained seats in their respective strongholds.

Of the six Legislative Council seats for which elections were held in December last year, the BJP won only one while the rest constituencies were bagged by candidates of the ruling MVA.

When questioned about the Sena’s demand for renaming Aurangabad city as ‘Sambhajinagar’ and the fierce opposition by the Congress, Mr. Pawar said that any difference of opinions among the three constituents would be ironed out by their leaders.

“There may be a difference of opinion but we (MVA partners) have come together on the basis of a common minimum programme. The MVA government has been successfully running on this basis under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for the last one year and will continue to run in future as well,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

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