Organisations from Maharashtra to launch state-wide protest in support of farmers on Wednesday
Jan Andolananchi Sangharsha Samiti (JASS) is set to demonstrate and participate in the state-wide farmers’ protests to be held at different timings throughout the state on Thursday. In Mumbai, the protest will be held at Bharat Mata Cinema at 12 noon. However, leaders of the Samiti said this will not affect the functioning of banks, industries, and any services that employ labour class, and no traffic blockades will take place, and no urban routine life will be disrupted for any citizens. The Congress, too, will stage state-wide protest to support farmers’ agitation.
The demonstrations organised by JASS, where 48 mass organisations of labourers, social activists, bank employees, trade union organisations, and farmers’ organisations have come together to extend support to farmers, will be held as token protests. All employees, such as bank employees and essential service workers, will report to work wearing badges in support of the farmers’ cause. A day-long fast has also been planned as part of the protest, and any member wishing to participate can fast at their own convenience.
Vishwas Utagi, convener of JASS, said, “It is not a bandh or a state-wide strike. We have the support of many intellectuals, journalists, writers, and members of political parties who will participate in the protest. It will be held across all 400 tehsils, and 36 districts of Maharashtra at different timings throughout Thursday.”
The group has formed a Trade Unions Joint Action Committee to coordinate the protests. This committee consists of Maharashtra units of INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AICCTU, AIUTUC and Bharatiya Kamgar Sena MahaSangh, NTUI, TUCI, state government employees’ union, Shramik Ekta Mahasangh (Pune).
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat on Wednesday announced that the party will hold a state-wide agitation on Thursday to support to the cause of the farmers protesting in Delhi. In a press statement on Wednesday, the Congress said, “The Congress has opposed the anti-farmer laws of the BJP government from the very beginning. The Maharashtra pradesh Congress has been protesting for the past two months with various agitations demanding repeal of these black laws. A large number of people will also participate in tomorrow’s agitation and express their opposition.”
“The demands of the farmers are right and we stand firmly behind them,” Thorat said.
Utagi said agriculture is a state subject, and the group is urging the Maharashtra government to introduce a bill to safeguard the interests of farmers in the state in the next Assembly session. “The Centre cannot encroach on state subjects, so we are fighting for preserving the state’s autonomy as well,” Utagi said.
He added, “The NCP, Congress, and Sena have supported the cause of farmers earlier as well, and have assured us support this time.”
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