Sharad Pawar to take part in event in support of agitating farmers

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Mumbai: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Friday said he will take part in a protest planned in Mumbai to express support for farmers agitating against the new agri- marketing laws enacted by the Modi government. Talking to reporters in Kolhapur, around 375km from here, the former Union agriculture minister noted that the agitating farmers have rejected the Centre’s offer to suspend the new laws for 18 months.

“The government proposed suspending the laws for 18 months. But the farmers have rejected it. They (farmers) have asked the government to repeal the laws and then sit for discussion.

“The protesting farmers’ well-wishers from Maharashtra met me, met the chief minister. They told us they will on January 24 or January 25 unite all those who are supporting the agitating farmers.

“They invited us for the same. We said okay we will come,” Pawar said.

Farmers, agitating for nearly two months outside Delhi, are demanding a repeal of the agri laws which seek to encourage private trade, contract farming and remove stock limit on foodgrains.

Asked about reports of senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde’s name being among those in the race for the party president’s post, the NCP chief said his best wishes are with the former Union home minister.

He is our colleague. We are happy and our best wishes if the news you (journalist) are giving that a person from Maharashtra will become (Congress president), he added.

The Maharashtra government had submitted to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari a list of 12 members to be nominated to the Legislative Council from his quota in November last year.

To a question that Koshyari is yet to take a decision on it, Pawar said, I have experience of 50 years that the Governor never rejected a proposal after the chief minister has sent it to him after the cabinet’s approval.

“Something different has happened here (now). Let’s see what happens.

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