Mumbai, Mar 12: The Kisan Long March, launched by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) to protest against the BJP-led government on agrarian distress in Maharashtra, will head towards Maharashtra Assembly today. The Kisan Long March entered Mumbai on Sunday after walking with blistered feet for about 180 km in the sun over the last five days. More than 35,000 farmers will now march to the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha in Mumbai, concluding the Kisan Long March today. Catch live updates on Kisan Long March and status of local trains and traffic in the wake of major farmers’ stir.
The Kisan Long March, led by AIKS — a peasants front of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was launched from Nashik on Tuesday. The farmers are seeking a complete loan waiver among other demands. They have gathered at Azad Maidan and will soon begin their march to the Maharashtra Assembly. The state government on Sunday decided to appoint a six members committee to look into the farmers’ demands. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting held at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence.
Last year, the Maharashtra government had announced a loan waiver of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the farm loan waiver scheme. However, the farmers are protesting against the Maharashtra government which had promised loan waiver for them in November 2018 after they had staged a long protest of over 10 days in the state. The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for the destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink-worm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.
“Farmers in the state are reeling under the ripples of agrarian distress and they are under huge financial burden. The government has not done anything to provide them any relief. So they are left with no option but to express their anguish through the protest march,” Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of AIKS, told news agency IANS. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have extended their support to the farmers’ agitation. MNS chief Raj Thackeray visited the agitating farmers at Somaiya ground on Sunday and said,”Nothing will happen from BJP govt.”