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Oct 03, 2013 at 10:44pm IST

Medha Patkar, Anna Hazare on sugar co-operative save mission

Mumbai: Protests would be held Oct 9 to save the co-operative sugar factories in Maharashtra from falling into the hands of politicians, Medha Patkar said in Mumbai on Thursday.

The social groups to take part in the state-wide protests include Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and its chief Raju Shetty, an MP besides anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

"We shall try to ensure that the remaining 60 co-operative sugar factories in the state do not fall into the hands of politicians," Patkar told mediapersons.

Medha Patkar, Anna Hazare on sugar co-operative save mission

Medha Patkar, Anna Hazare on sugar co-operative save mission

The protests come in the wake of a state government decision last month barring private parties from buying sick sugar co-operatives through public auctions.

Social activist Patkar pointed out there is a rush among Maharashtra politicians to buy these sick or financially unsound sugar co-operatives during auctions.

"The politicians are interested in the prime plots of land, old equipment and machinery," she said.

Patkar said it was imperative for the co-operative sector to survive and thrive in Maharashtra where it played an important role in the development and progress of the state.

She, however, accused the government for the mess in the sugar co-operatives which led to many being shut down and their assets sold off at throwaway rates.

"This is a Rs.10,000-crore mega scam. All political parties are hand-in-glove when it comes to buying out distressed sugar factories through auctions," she alleged.