Nashik, Mar 9: Protesting against the Maharashtra government’s “anti-farmer” policies, more than 30,000 farmers from across the state of Maharashtra are marching from Nashik to Mumbai demanding a complete loan waiver from the state government. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) protest has reached Thane is likely to reach Mumbai on March 12. The 180-kilometres march started on Wednesday evening from the CBS chowk in Central Nashik.
The farmers have planned to protest outside the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha on Monday, said Sunil Malusare of AIKS. Apart from a complete loan waiver, the farmers have also demanded a waiver of electricity bills and the implementation of the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission, which suggests “faster and more inclusive growth” for farmers including food and nutrition security, and cost competitiveness of farm commodities.
“We want the state government to refrain from forceful acquisition of farm lands in the name of development projects like the super highway and tracks for bullet trains. We also want the state government to refrain from forceful acquisition of farm lands in the name of development projects like the super highway and the bullet train,” AIKS secretary Raju Desle said. AIKS national president Ashok Dhavle, local MLA J P Gavit and other leaders are leading the march.
All India Kisan Sabha National President Ashok Davle claimed that nearly 1,753 farmers have taken their lives since June 2017 when the Maharashtra government had announced a conditional loan waiver of Rs 34,000 crore. Accusing the BJP-led government of betraying the farmers, Davle said that the promises made by the govt have remained unfulfilled.
“We will demand a complete change in the river linking scheme proposed to be implemented in Nashik, Thane and Palghar, so as to ensure that tribal villages are not submerged and water is made available to these districts and other drought-prone areas,” Davle added.