Farmers in Maharashtra called off their two-day strike on Saturday, after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis agreed to a majority of their demands. Members of the Kisan Kranti committee spent four hours negotiating with Fadnavis on Friday, NDTV reported. They had been demanding waivers on farm loans, revised rates for their produce, free electricity, higher prices for milk and the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
“The strike is withdrawn and there should not be any violent protests against the state anymore,” Fadnavis said. “We are open to a farm loan waiver…We shall set up a committee for the purpose which will include farmers’ representatives and take a decision by October 31.”
The government has also promised farmers that a state-level commission will be formed to manage the costs farmers incur and the prices at which they sell their produce. It also agreed to revise the price of milk by June 20.
The strike, called on Thursday, had turned violent after protesters took to vandalising vehicles transporting milk, produce and meat to cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. Section 144 was imposed in some parts of Nashik and several farmers have been detained during their protests.
The farmers had decided to go on strike on May 30 after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the representatives of the Kisan Kranti Morcha – a state-level coordination committee of various farmers’ outfits – that the government needed some time to decide.