The Opposition, comprising seven political parties, is set to start its ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ (Struggle March) to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Maharashtra government over its demand for a loan waiver for the distressed farmers. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar are likely to take part in the Yatra starting from Chandrapur on Wednesday. The event will conclude at Panvel.
The Opposition parties — Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Republican Party (Kawade) and United Janata Dal — have collaborated for the first time to take on the state government. Speculations are rife that the Communist Party of India (CPI) may join the Yatra.
The leaders from all the seven parties, including legislators, would be covering 1,500 km while passing through Vidarbha, Marathwada and Western Maharashtra, where farmer suicides have remained the highest in the state. Politicians would be with farmers and the families of those who have committed suicide.
A senior Congress leader confirmed that they have invited Gandhi on the last day (April 4) of the Yatra, and have received a positive response. Similarly, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad said the NCP chief would also be joining the event.
Meanwhile, the government announced a slew of schemes under its Unnat Sheti, Samruddha Sheti initiative on Tuesday .
While addressing farmers on Akashwani on Tuesday, state agriculture minister announced an initiative to raise the food production and productivity.
The project has the provision of additional funding for drip irrigation, distribution of soil health cards to 1.06 crore farmers, funding for 8,000 onion chawls (godowns) with storage capacity of two lakh metric tonnes, a five-year plan for seed supply and mechanisation of farming.