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30,000 Farmers Embark on Overnight March to Mumbai's Azad Maidan Before the Big Protest

The farmers will stage a protest outside the State Assembly on Monday, demanding fair remuneration and loan waiver.

News18.com

Updated:March 12, 2018, 5:30 AM IST
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30,000 Farmers Embark on Overnight March to Mumbai's Azad Maidan Before the Big Protest
The farmers will stage a protest outside the State Assembly on Monday. (Image: CNN-News18 TV grab)
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Mumbai: Around 30,000 farmers, led by the All India Kisan Sabha, descended on Mumbai on Sunday afternoon to protest against the failure of the BJP-led government to address agrarian distress.

The huge crowd that was camping at the KJ Somaiya Ground, plans marching overnight to Azad Maidan.

Braving scorching heat, they have covered around 180 km on foot in six days.

"We don't want to create a problem for exam going students of 10th standard, we don't mind suffering more but we don't want our students to suffer," said Ashok Dhawale, president, AIKS.

The farmers will stage a protest outside the State Assembly on Monday, demanding fair remuneration and loan waiver. These farmers will seek answer from the government for non-implementation of the demands that were promised by the government, said Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of AIKS.


The 180-km long foot march was launched with around 12,000 farmers and the number has reached to 30,000 now. (Image: Network18)

"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," Nawale said.

As the sea of red neared Mumbai, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appointed minister Girish Mahajan as the government’s representative to talk to the leaders of the march when they reach Vikhroli.

The opposition Congress and BJP’s estranged ally Shiv Sena have extended their support to the protest, dubbed the ‘Long March of Farmers’.


The agitating farmers take a break to enjoy their meals. (Image: Network18)

"Today, our number is over 35,000. Over 20,000 farmers from other parts of the state will join tomorrow," said Kisan Gujar, president, state council of AIKS.

Complete loan waiver and profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agriculture commodities are the major demands of the AIKS.

These farmers want an immediate implementation of M.S. Swaminathan committee's recommendations, which ensures fair remuneration.


These farmers want an immediate implementation of M.S. Swaminathan committee's recommendations, which ensures fair remuneration. (Image: Network18)

The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink-worm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.

In June last year, similar protests had boiled over most parts of the state, forcing the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government to announce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which farmers said has not been implemented properly.
| Edited by: Puja Menon
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