Three factions of Sanghatana part ways

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Kolhapur, Nov 10: Three factions of the Shetakari Sanghatana that had come together with a common cause to get Rs 1,800 per tonne for cane famers from the sugar factories, have parted ways within a week.

The factions included Swabhimani Shetakari Sanghatana (SSS), led by MLA Raju Shetty, and two other Shetakari Sanghtanas, led by Sharad Joshi and Raghunathdada Patil, had shared a common platfrom with Shiv Sena in a meeting held at Kuditre in Karvir tehsil of the district on November four. They had resolved unamimously to launch agitation for Rs 1,800 per tonne to cane farmers.

Mr Shetty and Mr Joshi led Sanghatanas struck a deal with sugar factories. As per the deal, about 14 sugar factories in the district agreed to pay Rs 1,200 per tonne instead of Rs 1,800 per tonne as first instalment to the cane farmers.

However, Mr Patil objected to it and charged that Mr Shetty had done this under pressure from sugar barons.

Mr Patil, while talking to reporters here, alleged that Mr Shetty had reached compromise with sugar factories without taking him into confidence, which was nothing but betrayal.

Mr Shetty, when contacted, said the charges levelled against him by Mr Patil were totally ''baseless'', as the majority of farmers had agreed with the compromise formula.

Mr Shetty said he and Mr Joshi had struck deal keeping the farmers' intersts in mind. For which, Mr Patil had agreed initially, but later changed his mind.

The government had declared a statutory minimum price (SMP) of Rs 811 per tonne. However, as per compromise formula, the sugar companies had agreed to pay Rs 120 higher than that, he pointed out and added that they will press for next instalments step by step.

UNI

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