Monday, March 19, 2018

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis ‘Trapped’ With Farmer Agitation

The BJP government in Maharashtra had no other option but to succumb to the demands of the farmers who trekked 180 km from Nashik over the last six days. The revenue minister of the state Chandrakant Patil has also accepted ‘all their demands’ and the agitation is now over.

The BJP government was not only fearful of the farmer retaliation but also aware of the long-term impact of such an agitation. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also said,”We have agreed to set up a committee to hand over forest land used for farming, to tribals and farmers”.

The compromise on part of the state government has helped to find a possible truce but also, damaged the image of the state. The way the agitators proceeded with and the government compromised, the state government has truly made a blunder.

No doubt, be it the case of loan waiver or the forestry act – most of the facilities are either not possible or utopian and calls for having long-term consequences. The curious case of forest land rights is not a straightforward one. This agitation has further given hope to the communists as the agitation was spearheaded by All Indian Kishan Sabha (AIKS).

In between, mainstream media has avoided airing the whole fiasco. Thus virtually it is a wake-up call for Devendra Fadnavis and it would be interesting to see whether they are happy with everything or not. Otherwise, the general dissatisfaction of the farmer may end up ruining BJP’s chances in Lok Sabha election next year in Maharashtra.