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Kolhapur, Nov 21: Raju Shetty, the national president of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and former MP, held a press conference on Monday accusing Maharashtra & District Guardian Minister Hasan Mushrif and MLC Satej Patil of instigating the ongoing sugarcane farmers’ agitation.

Shetty alleged that Mushrif and Patil, leading the sugar factory owners in the district, were responsible for the current agitation as they prioritized the interests of the sugar millers. According to Shetty, they were the real masterminds behind the farmers’ agitation, and he declared that they would not allow the leaders to crush the farmers’ protest, insisting on an apology to the farmers.

Claiming that two to three sugar factory owners were willing to discuss the issue, Shetty stated that Mushrif and Patil exerted pressure on them. He emphasized that the agitation would continue, threatening to launch a ‘chakka jam’ on the busy Pune-Bangalore national highway on November 23.

The farmers’ demands include Rs 3,500 per tonne for this year’s sugarcane crushing and Rs 400 per tonne as the second installment for last year’s crushed sugarcane. Shetty criticized the appointment of a committee under the chairmanship of district collector Rahul Rekhavar to resolve the issue, alleging that it was a farce influenced by Mushrif’s pressure.