Maha: Farm panel chief sacked for inviting PM to meet dead farmer’s kin

In a bizarre development, the Maharashtra government has sacked the President of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) Chairman and Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, ostensibly for inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the family of a farmer who committed suicide last week.

The surprise move came late on Monday, barely hours after Tiwari — accorded the MoS rank — had shot off a letter to Modi highlighting how a debt-hit farmer from Pune had wished ‘Happy Birthday’ to the PM and then jumped to his death into a pond on September 17.

The deceased farmer was Dashrath L. Kedari, 42, who penned the greetings to the PM in a suicide note — narrating his plight due to debts and other issues — that was recovered later.

The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders like Congress’ Nana Patole, Shiv Sena’s Dr. Manisha Kayande and Nationalist Congress Party’s Mahesh Tapase had launched a sharp tirade against the state and Centre over the tragedy.

Tiwari had urged the PM to meet the farmer’s family, or direct Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to go there during her upcoming visit to Pune soon.

In a terse notification issued by an official Sanjay A. Dharurkar late on Monday, the state government said that the appointment of Tiwari — who was heading the VNSSM since August 2015 (when the government of ex-Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was in power) — has been cancelled.

No reasons were assigned for the abrupt measure in Dharurkar’s order, and the Divisional Commissioner, Amravati, has been handed over the additional charge of VNSSM till further orders.

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