We support farmers' strike wholeheartedly: Uddhav

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Mumbai, Jun 2: Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday extended his party's support to the strike called by farmers and said their extreme measures exhibit the failure of the ruling BJP-led government.

Shiv Sena is part of the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre as well as the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray

"The Shiv Sena wholeheartedly backs the strike called by farmers. They have been forced to hit the streets to show the government the pains they are going through," Uddhav told reporters in Mumbai.

"Farmers going on a strike exhibits complete failure of this government. We were the first to raise the issues of farmers with the government and will always continue to do so in future," he added.

Uddhav said his party remains firm on its demand of a complete loan waiver of farmers. "We are supporting the strike to show solidarity with the farmers who are fighting for their survival today," said the Sena chief. Deficit in availability of vegetables in Mumbai and resultant price rise looms over citizens as farmers in Maharashtra continued their stir for various demands on the second consecutive day on Friday.

On June 1, farmers from several villages across Maharashtra went on an indefinite strike to seek loan waiver from the government. Apart from loan waiver, the farmers also demanded the scrapping of ban on sale of animals for slaughter.

Stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts including Nashik, Satara and Pune where aggressive farmers emptied tankers of several tonnes of fresh milk being transported to the cities and destroyed stocks of fresh vegetables being taken to the markets.

In another incident near Satara, the driver of a milk tanker was roughed up by some farmers and prevented from proceeding to his destination. Stones were also pelted at some police vehicles near Nashik.

The strike was called on May 31 protesting against various issues including their demand of a loan waiver. This is probably the first time farmers have resorted to a strike.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a three-hour-long meeting the delegation of the farmers on Tuesday, however, they were not convinced and decided to go ahead with the strike.

Meanwhile, the farmers have organised morchas in Beed, Latur, Parbhani, Marathwada region, Amarawati, Buldhana in Vidarbha, Daund, Sangli, Kolhapur, Nagar in western Maharashtra, Nasik in Northern Maharashtra among other parts of the state.

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