The farmer, at whom Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had poked fun with crass remarks for his hunger strike over water scarcity, on Tuesday tried to barge into the official residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai but was prevented by the police.
Prabhakar alias Bhaiyya Deshmukh claimed he was bundled out along with other farmers by police when they tried to enter Chavan's residence 'Varsha' at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai to "lodge their protest" on the issue of scarcity of water.
Deputy Police Commissioner Nisar Tamboli said the farmer was not allowed to go inside the bungalow as the chief minister was not there and clarified that Deshmukh was not "detained".
"If Deshmukh gets an appointment with the CM, he would be allowed inside. Since there were already two other demonstrations, Deshmukh was moved out from there. He was taken to the nearest police station but he is free to go...we did not detain him," the DCP told PTI.
Deshmukh, who has been on a fast at the Azad Maidan from February 5, alleged that the state government had no sensitivity towards the plight of the drought-affected people.
"We had reached Varsha and were trying to get inside when police held us, packed us into four vehicles and took us to the police station," Deshmukh said.
"On March 22, the chief minister had called me to Vidhan Bhawan and had directed the Pune Divisional Commissioner to release water for Solapur within five days. But he has reneged on his word and therefore, we went to "Varsha" along with people from drought-hit area, to register our protest," he said.
The farmer came into media glare after Pawar made insensitive remarks regarding his protest at Indapur last week, saying, "There is this person from Solapur, sitting on hunger strike for 64 days demanding water be released from the dam. But where are we going to get water from? Should we urinate? And when we don't have water to drink, it’s hard to pass urine as well."
"It is our right to have water. Farmers have lost acres of land due to water shortage but nobody is concerned about it," Deshmukh said.
The NCP leader had later apologised for the remarks, calling it the "biggest mistake of his political life".