MP Raju Shetti together with former chairman of Textile Growth Board Ravikant Tupkar at Pune’ Market yard. (Specific Photograph by Sandip Daundkar)

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana suffered a serious jolt on Friday as its state president Ravikant Tupkar determined to half methods with it. Tupkar, the previous chairman of the State Handloom and Textile Company, was one in every of many senior leaders who’ve left the farmers’ union in current days.

With the meeting election simply not far away, the Sanghatana is combating an uphill activity, with its chief, former MP Raju Shetti, more and more discovering it tough to take care of political relevance. An offshoot of Shetkari Sanghatana, which was based by legendary farmer chief Sharad Joshi, the farmers’ union has been lively in state level-politics since its inception. Shetti was elected twice to Parliament from the Hatkanangale constituency in Kolhapur district.

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s primary help base contains cane growers in western Maharashtra. The Sanghatana was as soon as a severe pressure to reckon with, given its clout in cane-growing areas. Shetti and the Sanghatana have usually clashed with highly effective sugar barons within the area whereas demanding higher cost for cane farmers. Shetti’s recognition amongst cane employees transcended caste equations in electoral politics, as Maratha farmers voted overwhelmingly for the Jain chief.

Within the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Shetti defeated senior NCP chief Nivedita Mane, and within the 2014 polls he defeated senior Congress chief Kallappa Awade. Within the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shetti severed his ties with BJP-led NDA whereas his one-time trusted lieutenant, Sadabhau Khot, was expelled from the organisation. Khot later floated a rival organisation. Different senior leaders additionally left the farmers’ union and in a remaining blow, Shetti misplaced the Hatkanangale Lok Sabha seat to Sena chief Dhairyasheel Mane.

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