Mumbai (The Hindu): The farmers’ strike is likely to bring more trouble for the BJP with the Swabhimani Shetakari Sanghatana (SSS), led by Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetty, has called for its state executive committee meeting on June 8 to decide on quitting the alliance of the State government.
Mr. Shetty, who led a self-appeal yatra weeks ago against the government’s anti-farmer policies, has reiterated that supporting the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was one of his biggest political mistakes. He has also been critical of his former colleague Sadabhau Khot, Minister of State for Marketing. If indications from BJP are to be believed, Mr. Khot, a farmer leader from western Maharashtra, is set to join the BJP since the party is in dire need of a face with mass appeal in that region.
The SSS was one of the first parties to join hands with the BJP prior to the Lok Sabha polls and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a campaign rally for Mr. Shetty. The SSS has been in the forefront of attacking the Congress-NCP regime over sugar cane support price. The two-time MP now accuses the BJP and Mr. Modi of not fulfilling a single promise they had made to the farmers.
“Our executive committee will be meeting on June 8 to decide as to whether we should remain in alliance with the BJP or snap ties. Decision on Mr. Khot will also be taken, and we, as a party, will ask him to follow the orders. Depending on his reply, further action will be taken,” said Mr. Shetty. The MP is part of a steering committee for the farmers’ strike.
Mr. Khot, on the other hand, has decided to play wait and watch. “I will stand with the farmers,” he said, when asked about his stand if the SSS decides to quit the alliance. “Let them (SSS) take their decision, after which I will take mine.”
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