Farmers slam Sena for double standards on expressway

first_imgEven as the Maharashtra government begins direct purchase of land from farmers for the proposed 800-km Mumbai–Nagpur super expressway, farmer organisations are unhappy with, what they are calling, Shiv Sena’s “double standards”. This follows Sena minister Eknath Shinde’s direct involvement in the sale process, months after the party voiced its opposition to the project.On Thursday, Ram Sahu – a farmer in Nagpur district became the first to sell 1.25 hectare for the project for around ₹59 lakh. Mr. Shinde signed on the sale deed as a witness in an effort to encourage more farmers to sell their land to the government for this project. Ironically, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had not only met farmer organisations which are agitating against the proposed project assuring absolute support but its leaders in Thane, and Nashik have joined the farmers’ protests.“Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde have back-stabbed farmers. Uddhav Thackeray has said that the road will not be constructed without taking farmers into confidence but his minister is promoting the road. Whom should we believe? Whose interests are being served by the minister” asked Baban Harne, convener, Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti – a farmer body protesting against the project.Mr. Shinde said he is taking note of all reservations raised against the project by farmers. “I have been informing all these issues to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and working towards solving it,” We stand with development, but at the same time we believe that not a single farmers should face injustice,” he said, adding that the government will complete the project only after every farmer is satisfied.Meanwhile, Mr. Fadnavis has cancelled a special meeting called on Friday with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and agitation farmers to discuss issues raised by farmers. The CM’s office In a message conveyed to farmers, CM office said in a statement that the meeting will now be held after the presidential poll. Sources in the CMO said that the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind will be visiting Mumbai on Saturday and Mr Fadnavis would be busy on Friday.“It just shows the casual attitude of this government regarding farmer issues. Date of presidential poll was announced much before, but still the meeting was scheduled on Friday. What was so pressing for the CM that he had to cancel it? This is not only our insult but also of senior leader like Sharad Pawar,” said Mr Harnelast_img

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