Maharashtra farmers called off their protests on Sunday, June 11, after the state government agreed to waive the loans of all the 1.34 crore farmers, irrespective of their land holding, in the state. However, farmers have also said that they will resume their agitation if their demands of being provided with loan waivers are not met.
"Our issues have been resolved. We have decided to temporarily call off our agitation, including the dharna protests scheduled for tomorrow and day after. If they (government) fail, we will again agitate from July 25," farmer leader Raju Shetti was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
The decision came after a committee of ministers constituted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met a group of 35 farmers in Mumbai.
Government agrees for loan waiver for farmers.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) June 11, 2017
Conditions and detailing will be finalised by a Joint Committee.
Small and marginal farmers with land holding up to five acres will not only receive a loan waiver with immediate effect but will also be given fresh loans for the ongoing kharif season.
"The government has decided to waive farmers' loans. The loans of farmers with small land holdings stand waived from today itself," state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said on Sunday.
CM Fadnavis said in a tweet that farmers and their betterment was, is and will always be this government's top priority. The move by the Maharashtra government also includes the withdrawal of criminal cases against agitating farmers where there was no loss of property.
The government has also said that it will also increase the milk prices, which was one of the demands of the farmers.
Govt also accepts the demand of farmers to increase the milk prices .— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) June 11, 2017
Another farmer leader, Raghunathdada Patil, seemed happy with the government's decision. "The atmosphere now is like Diwali celebrations. 100 per cent of our demands have been accepted," he said.
Farmers in Maharashtra were agitating for the last 11 days. They had threatened to intensify the agitation from Monday onwards if their demands were not met. One June 1, farmers across Maharashtra took to the streets and spilt milk on the roads and even destroyed vegetables to protest against the distressing trend of falling prices of the agricultural produce and other issues.