50,000 Farmers take up overnight march for the sake of students in Mumbai
Thousands of farmers, led by the Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) from Maharashtra\'s Nashik district have arrived in Mumbai on Sunday after walking for about 180 km over the last six days. According to the reports, at least 50,000 farmers walked through the night, for about five hours in a bid to avoid any inconvenience to the students who will be writing their Board exams. The huge cr
Thousands of farmers, led by the Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) from Maharashtra's Nashik district have arrived in Mumbai on Sunday after walking for about 180 km over the last six days. According to the reports, at least 50,000 farmers walked through the night, for about five hours in a bid to avoid any inconvenience to the students who will be writing their Board exams. The huge crowd reached the Azad Maidan, a large ground designated for protests in South Mumbai before the crack of dawn.
The farmers who have been joined by tribals in huge numbers plan to surround the state assembly, Vidhan Sabha today to demand a complete loan waiver, fair pay and transfer of adivasi land to farmers who have been cultivating it for years.
While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appeared to the farmers not to cause problems for the Class X students and hold up traffic, he, however, welcomed the march.
Stating that it is sad that the farmers have come all the way to protest, he said that the fresh wish-list of demands will be considered.
In November last year, the state government announced Maharashtra’s biggest loan waiver for farmers after a 10-day long protest by farmers.
This year, in February, the state Governor Vidyasagar Rao in the Assembly said the government has transferred more than Rs.12,000 crore into bank accounts of more than 31 lakh farmers.
However, the farmers also want the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, that mandates farmers being paid one-and-a-half times the cost of production and keeping this in view, the Minimum Support Price should be fixed for their produce.
The opposition Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena have also extended support to the farmers' demands. On Sunday, Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray met the farmers who urged the Sena to speak as representatives of the government and not as a political party.
Senior Minister Girish Mahajan speaking to NDTV said that the government is in constant touch with the farmers ever since their march began and that the Chief Minister has been monitoring the situation.
So far, the march has been peaceful and the traffic in Mumbai has not been affected. The farmers, who had camped at the KJ Somaiya Ground in Sionas night fell on Sunday intend to proceed to the state assembly later in the day from the Azad Maidan.
Reports suggest that the protesters will not be allowed to proceed beyond Azad Maidan instead a delegation will be allowed to come to the Vidhan Bhavan to meet the Chief Minister. However, the farmers intend to march to the state Assembly while the AIKS stated they are willing to consider what the government offers.