Anna, Kejriwal support Shetty

Anna Hazare blamed Sharad Pawar for inciting farmers

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) president and Hatkanangle MP Raju Shetty arrested by Pune Rural police around midnight on Monday and sent to Yerawada jail has got support from both Anna Hazare and his ex-IAC colleague, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal.

Even as Shetty—he had been placed under detention on Monday morning after he announced a statewide road blockade to demand higher sugarcane prices—did not apply for bail after his arrest, Kejriwal on Tuesday announced he would meet Shetty in jail on Wednesday. Both Shetty and Kejriwal blamed the state government for the death of two farmers after an agitation on Monday across Western Maharashtra turned violent.

Before he was sent to jail, Shetty told reporters, "Government is responsible for the deaths. The police crackdown seems part of the government plan to break the agitation. Truth is on our side and we will win."

Kejriwal said in tweets on Tuesday, "We strongly condemn the Maharashtra government action of firing at farmers. Release Shetty and accept farmers' price hike demand and provide adequate compensation for the dead...."

Anna Hazare blamed Sharad Pawar for inciting farmers. Pawar had at a rally in Baramati accused Shetty of trying to stall crushing at sugar mills in Pune and other districts which were paying farmers better prices, while crushing was on at full capacity in Shetty's own constituency.

"Pawar yesterday gave a speech which incited the mob. But I would advise farmers to continue their protest in a peaceful manner," Hazare told reporters in his village Ralegan Siddhi.

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