Farmers to march from Thane to Mumbai today, demand land reforms
Thousands of farmers in Maharashtra will march from Thane to state capital Mumbai on Wednesday to reiterate their demand for support from the government on several issues on Wednesday, eight months after a similar protest.
The march, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, will see farmers and tribals take part in it. Traffic jams are likely in Mumbai on both days as protesters will walk down the roads from Thane toll Naka to Azad Maidan.
Farmers in Maharashtra, who are struggling to cope with the agrarian crisis and natural calamities, are demanding a proper implementation of the loan waiver package announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2017, the implementation of recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission, land rights for farmers and also compensation for farm labourers.
“We have been consistently asking the state government to fulfil our long-standing demands but the response has been lukewarm. We are forced to agitate,” said Pratibha Shinde, general secretary of Lok Sangharsh Morcha (LSM), which is organising the protest.
“We are taking maximum care to ensure that Mumbai citizens are not inconvenienced,” Shinde said.
The march will start from Thane and end at Somaiyya Ground in Sion on Wednesday, where the Morcha will hold a rally. The next day, the farmers will march to Azad Maidan and continue their agitation till their demands are met.
More than 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra, led by Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), took out a march’ from Nashik to Mumbai on March 12 to press for their demands. Their 180km march over several days culminated in Mumbai on March 11.
The farmers called off their agitation after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government accepted “almost all” of their demands in writing and assured to implement them in a time-bound manner. But the farmers said the government has not met any of their demands since then.