Trade and labour groups join farmers’ stir in Maharashtra
Farmers in Maharashtra, under the umbrella of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), marched to the tehsildar and collectors’ offices on Thursday and submitted petitions in support of the farmers protesting in Delhi against the Centre’s new farm laws. The protests were carried out across 400 tehsils and 36 districts in the state.
Ajit Navale, Maharashtra general secretary of AIKS said, “Protests at every tehsil and district collectors’ offices across Maharashtra started on Thursday morning.”
Forty-eight more groups, comprising labourers, tribals, bank employees and social organisations under the banner of Jan Andolananchi Sangharsha Samiti, joined the farmers on Thursday’s protest.
Vishwas Utagi, convener of Jan Andolananchi Sangharsha Samiti, said, “The peaceful protests were carried out successfully across the state. We will also meet senior Congress leaders within the next few days, demanding that the Maharashtra government strengthen labour laws in the state, and enact a legislation in the upcoming Assembly session of December to protect the interests of farmers. Agriculture is a state subject and the central government is trying to encroach upon it. We want to create a strong lobby by joining hands with political parties to protect the rights of our state.”
The Congress party also carried out protests throughout the state in solidarity with the farmers protesting in the national capital. Local leaders from each district handed over memorandums to the officials from the collectors and tehsildars’ offices. The party has been calling for the abolition of the farm laws, which were passed in the Parliament in September.
In Mumbai, a protest was held at Bharatmata Cinema in Parel by the Trade Unions’ Joint Action Committee which consisted of the state units of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC ), Bharatiya Kamgar Sena Mahasangh, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI), state government employees and also the Shramik Ekta Mahasangh (Pune) which has been operating throughout Maharashtra for over 30 years.
Meanwhile, the state unit of Congress during a meeting passed a resolution at Vidhan Bhavan to support the farmers protesting in Delhi for more than a week. The meeting was attended by party legislators, senior leaders from the state and officer-bearers from the All-India Congress Committee.
“The Modi government has passed three laws using its thumping majority in the Parliament. We will stand firm behind the farmers during their protest on the borders of the Delhi,” the resolution stated.
“The central government should make changes to the laws to weed out the doubts in the minds of the farmers. If the Modi government is terming the laws to be in the interest of farmers, why is it not being amended as demanded by the farmers,” said Maharashtra Congress chief and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat.