Mumbai: Several farmer groups have planned a long march from Nashik today. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has said that farmers would be protesting against the Maharashtra government which has betrayed them.
About 50,000 farmers from 23 districts are expected to be part of the march, scheduled to reach Mumbai on February 27. On agenda is to press for demands like farm loan waiver, minimum support price, irrigation facilities and provision of pension to farmers.
The AIKS also said it was opposed to the multi-billion dollar Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project as several farmers along the proposed route have moved the court over land acquisition.
Last year’s long march had forced the state government to give, in-principle, an acceptance to several of their demands. “A year has passed but the state government has not fulfilled promises. Hence, the long march would be taken out against the betrayal of farmers by BJP-led state and central governments,” the AIKS said.
Around 25,000 farmers had set out for Mumbai from Nashik in northern Maharashtra, on March 6, 2018, as part of a “long march” protest organised by the AIKS for a complete loan waiver and other demands.
The farmers from districts of Thane and Palghar on way to Mumbai joined the march later.
Protesters covered a distance of 180 kms on foot to seek a resolution of their issues. Agriculturists were demanding a complete waiver of loans and electricity bills, apart from the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
While speaking to news agency IANS, AIKS state general secretary Ajit Nawale had said, “Farmers in the state are reeling under agrarian distress and they are under huge financial burden. The government has not done anything to provide them with any relief. So they are left with no option but to express their anguish through the protest march.”