Mumbai, Feb 14: Two days after the Maharashtra government set up a safety net covering the open space on the first floor of the Mantralaya, the Shiv Sena took a dig and asked if the ropes were tied to help farmers in committing suicide. In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena said the safety net won’t be able to stop ‘disgruntled’ farmers from entering the State Secretariat.

On January 22, 84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil consumed poison in Mantralaya premises, demanding adequate compensation for his land, which had been acquired by the government for a solar power project. He died in hospital on January 28. There have been several successful and unsuccessful suicide attempts in protest against the Maharashtra government near Mantralaya.

“Farmers are in distress in Marathwada region. Unseasonal rains and hailstorms destroyed crops of farmers in Amravati, Akola, Vashim, Beed, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalgaon and other districts. Now the government will make punchnama and announce compensation for farmers. But the farmers are hopeless and have become handicap. Nylon net at Mantralaya cannot stop them,” reads Saamana editorial.

Shiv Sena said instead of paying heed to farmers’ concerns, the government is barking up the wrong tree by covering the open space of the Mantralaya with the net.