Maharashtra’s former NDA ally Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has decided to join the Congress-led UPA alliance, a top leader said on Monday.
SSS President Raju Shetti met Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the national capital along with Congress General Secretary Mohan Prakash and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan who announced the decision.
“The farmers have been denied justice in the past four years of NDA rule. We shall fight the next Lok Sabha elections as a UPA constituent,” Shetti, who had quit the NDA in August last year, told the media.
He said the Modi government had failed to fulfill its promises pertaining to the farmers on minimum support prices for agricultural produce, loan waiver, compensation of losses, implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission Report and other issues.
The SSS plans to hold a meeting of various farmers’ associations and groups from all over India on March 29 where Gandhi is likely to be present.
Dissatisfied with the NDA at the centre and in Maharashtra, Shetti – who represents the Hatkanangle seat in Kolhapur for Swabhimani Paksha, the political wing of the SSS – has been bitterly critical of the BJP for nearly a year.
Shetti launched the SSS and its political wing Swabhimani Paksha in 2004, which is working mainly among the farmers in the state. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha twice since 2009.