Mumbai, Mar 18 (IANS): In an unexpected move, the Maharashtra government has dropped All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Dr. Ajit Nawale from a committee constituted to oversee the implementation of the farmers' demands, officials said here on Saturday.
Soon after the government accepted many of the demands of the peasants -- currently on halt in Vasind, Thane en route their 'long march' -- a panel was formed for the purpose of implementing the same.
From the AIKS side, the names forwarded were AIKS President Dr. Ashok Dhavale, Dr. Nawale, CPI(M) MLA Vinod Nikole and ex-legislator Jiva Pandu Gavit.
The shocking discovery was made when the farmers' leaders went to check the minutes of the meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and others on Friday.
The AIKS leaders even asked the secretaries why Dr. Nawale's name was missing from the panel, but did not get any clear reply.
The AIKS leaders have pointed fingers at Fadnavis, claiming he is opposed to Dr. Nawale's inclusion in the panel owing to the latter's aggressive stance.
"This is not the first time, even after the previous agitation, Fadnavis had attempted to divide the farmers and then excluded me from the delegation meetings with the government. This is conveying a wrong impression to the farmers," Dr. Nawale said.
However, Dr Nawale said that this time there are two powerful leaders -- Gavit and CPI(M) MLA Vinod Nikole who are capable of taking on the government and ensuring that the farmers are not let down
Party leaders claim that Fadnavis -- then the CM -- was reportedly irked after Dr. Nawale deftly resisted efforts to drive a wedge among the farmers after their strike in June 2017.
Meanwhile, the farmers' leaders have said that the state government's orders on the implementation part have been received and a decision whether to continue or end the 'long march' will be taken later in the day.