Over 50,000 farmers set out a protest in the form of 180-km march from Nasik to Mumbai for the second time in the last 12 months to object against the betrayal of peasants by the BJP governments at the state and the centre.
The landless agriculturalists and the small farmers converged in Nasik for their second long march to Mumbai. The protest is the outcome of the unfulfilled demands by the state government.
The farmers demands include loan waiver, minimum support price, provision of pension, irrigation facilities and land rights, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations with proper implementation of laws governing forest produce.
Last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a Rs 34,022 crore loan waiver scheme for 89 lakh farmers. But not all the farmers were eligible for it.
Not even the half of the targeted farmers were offered the waiver after the six months of the scheme was announced. Therefore, the protesting farmers demand a complete and unconditional loan waiver.
In small contingents, the tribals have arrived from places like Peint, Trimbakeshwar, Kalwan, Palghar and adjoining areas, outside Nashik to reach the starting point at the inter-city Mahamarg bus stand. Police estimated that around 7,500 farmers have reached Nashik.
The march is led by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), an orgnaisation affiliated to the CPM. The march has been supported by almost all the opposition parties including Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and MNS. This can result in hitting the Modi government and the BJP immensely.
After the Maharashtra farmers protest and agitation, a three hour meeting between Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan and All India Kisan Sabha AIKS representatives in Nashik took place.
The minister has assured to fulfill the demands of the farmers. However, the farmers want Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take action immediately.
However, the Nashik police had refused permission for the march. “They would not allow a procession, the farmers could hold a protest in Nashik”, Nashik Police said.