Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Maharashtra farmers' protest ends as government accepts their demands

The farmers who are covering a stretch of 30 km every day aims at gheraoing Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha in Mumbai on March 12. | ANI Twitter The farmers who are covering a stretch of 30 km every day aims at gheraoing Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha in Mumbai on March 12. | ANI Twitter
Glenn Montgomery | 15 March, 2018, 06:02

"Otherwise, they will face the consequences in 2019 polls", said a farmer. The BJP-led government at the Centre, which has been promising doubling of farm incomes and higher prices, and is to seek re-election a year from now, would do well to take note too. The government now has six months' time. He further alleged that corrupt practices also prevailed in that region in terms of certain Government schemes for the farmers that included "Anna Pratha", for which crores of Rupees were given by the Government but the benefit did not reach the farmers. "It will be a mass movement", Sitaram Yechury told ANI. The MSRTC arranged for 15 buses, which left from Azad Maidan, and several more outside Kasara station, from where it would be faster for farmers to return to Nashik. "This long march started after govt went back on their promises back then", Sitaram Yechury added.

The farmers of the state have been demanding an unconditional waiver of loans and electricity bills; implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations; announcement of minimum support price for agriculture produce; and a pension scheme for farmers.

After holding a meeting with a delegation of farmers in Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday evening accepted most of their demands. "We will not end our protest until they give us written assurances around fulfilling our demands", said Ajit Nawale, state general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, the organiser of the march. "Consider how hard it is for tribals who are fighting for forest land rights, consider how hard it is for extremely poor women who are around 60 or 70 years to march from Nashik to Mumbai in such a hot climate."The climate isn't something that just affects the protester, but it has also caused issues in the area of farming". He said the government had already distributed funds to banks for 4.62 million farmers for loan waivers with 3.55 million beneficiaries till date.

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