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Minister faces farmers’ ire

Swabhimani Shetkari Paksha activists throw milk packet and eggs on Vinod Tawde’s vehicle at Osmanabad.


Education Minister Vinod Tawde who had visited Osmanabad district for taking stock of the drought situation had to face the wrath of Swabhimani Shetkari Paksha activists as they threw milk packet and eggs at his vehicle. As a result of this, situation became tense in the area. The cabinet ministers from BJP and Sena are on three day tour of 29 talukas of drought affected Beed, Latur and Osmanabad districts. They will submit a report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and suggest remedial measures to resolve water scarcity in the state. Later, the cabinet will also have a meeting with the CM for discussing about the drought situation in the state. The state government had taken this step to send a message to opposition that it is serious about addressing the problems faced by farmers in the state. Several regions of Maharashtra has been witnessing drought as many farmers have committed suicide due to crop failure.

Congress party workers had shown black flags to Tawde as a mark of protest to highlight the government’s failure to tackle farmers’ suicide issue. They shouted slogans against the government and said, “Stop drought tours offer water to affected regions.” They had stopped Tawde’s vehicle for 15 minutes. Later, police intervened and cleared the area allowing Tawde to proceed ahead. Even BJP supporters present at the location started chanting anti-Congress slogans. When Tawde was inspecting an school at Yedshi Swabhimani Shetkari Paksha activist Ravindra Ingle threw milk packets at his vehicle. Later, Tawde supporters became angry and assaulted Ingle. Three persons have been taken into custody by the police.

Vinod Tawde said why activists didn’t protest at Tuljapur and chose Osmanabad as a venue to target me. He said, “We had gone to a school to interact with children. Once we came out, one of the protesters threw a glass bottle on me which eventually hit the school wall.”

“Swabhimani Shetkari Paksha activists’ had thrown milk packets at me. I had gone to visit schools. Why didn’t they protest at Tuljapur? We have filed a complaint in this regard and police will probe this matter,” he added.

On the other hand, Swabhimani Shetkari Paksha Chief Sadabhau Khot said, “I have seen the whole episode. Farmers are not getting the right price for their milk and there is acute water shortage that has led to discomfort among farmers.”

“These farmers had only gone to express their dissatisfaction to Tawde carrying milk packets. One of the milk packets got torn and a bit of it spilled onto the minister’s entourage,” he added.

Meanwhile, sources in the state BJP unit said that following the ministers’ tour, the party will depute its elected representatives and party office bearers across the drought affected talukas to monitor relief works and help the people till the next monsoon arrives.

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