.........MUMBAI: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced the formation of a high-powered Group of Ministers (GoM) to hold talks with the agitating farmers, just a day after they threatened to intensify their agitation.
“We are of the view that any issue can be resolved through dialogue and we have time and again reiterated our stand that we are open for dialogue. This is yet another step in that direction,” chief minister Fadnavis said urging the farmers to come forward for a dialogue.
“The high-powered group of ministers under the leadership of the minister for cooperatives Chandrakant Patil will submit its recommendations to the chief minister, after discussing the issues with the farmers and agriculture experts from across the state,” a government communique said.
Agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar, Maharashtra minister for marketing and textiles Subhash Deshmukh, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, minister for water resources Girish Mahajan and transport minister (Shiv Sena) Diwakar Raote are part of the GOM. Water resources minister Girish Mahajan said that the farmers’ organisations had responded positively to the appeal for a dialogue.
The farmers leaders too have welcomed the step. “The government should not delay the process now and refrain from time killing tactics. The issue should be resolved as soon as possible,” said farmers leader Raghunath Patil. Swabhimanu Shetkari Sanghatana leader and MP Raju Shetti demanded that the government should ensure justice for all. The core committee of farmers’ agitation would take the final call, he added.