Yashwant Sinha
Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha at World Economic Forum, 2008.wikimedia commons

Former Union Finance Minister and Bharatiya Janta Party leader,Yashwant Sinha was released after being detained for four and half hours by the Akola police late on Monday, December 5 for leading a farmers' protest. The farmers from Vidarbha who were demanded compensation for the loss of their crops due to pests.

Sinha stressed that "will not budge till our demands are met," after he was released. The police had detained Sinha and around 250 farmers.

Sinha clarified: "We were present at the district office on Monday regarding some of our demands. There was a long discussion, the district collector talked with us but we did not receive a satisfactory answer."

Photos showed the 79-year-old leader sleeping on a wooden cot in the open ground on Monday night.

Sinha added: "So despite the SP's announcement that he has released us, we decided to remain and we'll go wherever the police takes us, but unless our demands are accepted, our protest will continue."

Sinha whose son is a member of the Union cabinet joined hands with the protesting cotton and soyabean farmers against the state government. They were demanding procurement of the entire crop and compensation for losses due to pests.

District Magistrate Aastik Kumar Pande hinted that 6-7 of Sinha's demands have been accepted and maintained that the 79-year-old BJP leader was arrested along with the farmers as they refused to stop the 'dharna'. Pande said, "Yashwant Sinha and the Shetkari Jagaran Manch were protesting in Akola, they were on a dharna. We tried discussing the issue with him but he continued to the dharna so he was detained by the police."

Vidarbha farmers
An official Laxman Khandawe with cotton farmers in Amravati (Vidarbha) Maharashtra guiding them in control measures of pink bollworm.Twitter

"Neither has he reached out to me, nor have I tried to talk to him," Sinha was quoted by NDTV as saying when he pointed out that he has had no word over this agitation with party colleague and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Referring to the farmers' plight, Sinha said, "Before coming to power, the BJP had promised to give 50 per cent over and above the minimum support price (MSP). But after coming to power, the party forgot the promise."