Pune: The fast undertaken by farmers` leader
and MP Raju Shetty at Baramati, the home town of union
agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, demanding hike in sugarcane
procurement prices continued for the second day on Tuesday.
Shetty`s "Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana” has demanded a
price of Rs 2,350 per quintal for the sugarcane purchased by
sugar cooperative factories from growers.
Hundreds of agitating farmers reached Baramati yesterday
after a six day "Padayatra" led by Shetty which commenced
from the pilgrim town of Pandharpur.
Shetty who has declared his resolve to continue the fast
till the state government agreed to his demand, today said he
had not received any invitation for talks so far but welcomed
reports that the Minister for Cooperation Harshavardhan Patil
was willing to hold talks with the agitating farmers.
Addressing his supporters, he said Pawar was the senior
most political leader in the state and should intervene to
settle the demands of sugarcane growers in the state as he had
a "powerful hold" on the cooperative sugar sector in
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had
yesterday said that a "practical solution" was needed to
settle the issue as the price to be paid to the growers
depended on the price fetched by the final product-sugar.
Shetty also alleged that police were resorting to
"repressive" measures to disperse the agitating farmers
camping with him in Baramati in support of his fast.