Ahmednagar (Maha), Nov 16: Strongly condemning the police action against farmers in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra, Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday said this reflected the state government's "insensitivity" towards the cultivators.
He also said the BJP-led central government had not performed as per its promises and that he would launch a countrywide movement against corruption and to highlight the farmers' issues in February next year.
An agitation by farmers, seeking Rs 3,100 per tonne for the sugarcane produce, turned violent in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad districts yesterday, with the agitators clashing with the police, who burst tear gas shells and fired in the air to disperse the protesters, officials said. Two farmers and some policemen were injured in the incident, which occurred in the Shevgaon and Paithan talukas of Ahmednagar and Aurangabad respectively, the police said.
"The firing on the sugarcane farmers is an instance of the state government's insensitivity towards them," Hazare told PTI.
Instead of resolving the farmers' grievances, pellets were fired at them which should be condemned, he said. The anti-corruption crusader visited a hospital in Ahmednagar today to meet the two injured farmers. He said the BJP-led central government, which had been promising to eradicate corruption and poverty from the country, had not been able to prove its competence.
It had weakened the Lokpal and Lokayukta by introducing and promptly passing changes in the Lokpal Bill by taking advantage of the absolute majority it enjoyed in Parliament, Hazare alleged. On his silence over the central government's performance, he said he felt that the current dispensation must be given some more time.
"Unfortunately, they have not been able to perform as per their promises so far," he added.
The 80-year-old social activist said he would launch a countrywide movement against corruption and to highlight the issues of farmers, youth and the workers in the unorganised sector. The movement would be launched in Delhi in February next year and before that, he would travel all over the country to urge the youth to join the fight against corruption, Hazare said.