Yashwant Sinha detained after protesting with farmers in Vidarbha


A defiant BJP veteran leader Yashwant Sinha, who was detained here yesterday while leading a protest by farmers, today vowed not to move out of the place where he spent the night till demands of cultivators of Maharashtra's Vidarbha region are accepted.

"The Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kalasagar and I requested him (Sinha) with folded hands to please have his food at that late hour and fortunately, he conceded", Pandey said. "He has our full support", she added.

Sinha said that since Monday evening, the farmers have been agitating to get concrete assurances from the state government on their demands, including minimum support prices to farmers for their produce.

On Monday, Akola Police detained Sinha along with 250 farmers under Section 68 of the Bombay Police Act after they vandalised the barricades of the district office on their way out, following what they said was an unsatisfactory discussion with the district magistrate over the farmers' demands.

While, Kejriwal demanded immediate release of the former union minister. "We have told him that if he wishes, he is free to leave", district collector Asit Kumar Pandey told PTI.

The former union minister said, "My protest is not political". The government has already taken strict action and filed FIRs against six such companies, he said.

Since his detention, Sinha has been sitting on a dharna, media reports said. "We won't be responsible for what happens (sic)", Sinha was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Rain and cooler temps expected for Tuesday
Cold, Arctic air will settle into the state Wednesday night , and from that point forward, will stay put at least for a week. Thursday night , the low in New Orleans is expected to be 39 degrees, according to the National Weather Service .

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee also tweeted in support of Mr. Sinha.

"I wish to tell the police, district administration and the state government that if we are formally arrested and released and they think that we will go home, then they are under wrong impression", Sinha said.

Sinha told The Indian Express, "I am determined to stay here till all demands are met".

Pawar, who spoke to Sinha on phone, attacked the government for not doing enough to provide much needed relief to farmers. I don't want to get diverted from the farmer's issue.

The other demands are uninterrupted power supply to agricultural pump sets, removal of "unjust" conditions from the gold mortgage waiver scheme of the government for farmers, and purchase of all farm produce at MSP by NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India).

Sinha has been critical of the Centre's Narendra Modi government's economic policies.