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Maharashtra Govt Stops Agitating Farmers From Marching to Mumbai from Nashik

Farmer leaders have also accused the government of repression with one among them going underground for the last three days fearing arrest.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:February 20, 2019, 6:03 PM IST
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Maharashtra Govt Stops Agitating Farmers From Marching to Mumbai from Nashik
Vehicles bringing farmers for the march to Mumbai from Nashik were blocked near the Kasara Ghat in Shahapur taluka of Thane district. (Credit: News18)
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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced that it will not allow farmers to march from Nashik to Mumbai.

Vehicles carrying farmers from different places to Nashik and Palghar are also being stopped and fined.

Farmer leaders have also accused the government of repression with one among them going underground for the last three days fearing arrest.

Meanwhile, cabinet minister Girish Mahajan flew down to Nashik to hold a meeting with the protestors.

"The protest is being done because of elections. We won’t allow them to march to Mumbai. Why should thousands of farmers be made to walk because ration cards haven't been issued?” Mahajan said.

When asked about the demands of the farmers like farm loan waiver and drought-tackling measures, the minister said the government had done what it could.

“They can't hold us to ransom for implementing schemes the way they want them to be," he said.

Farmer leader Ashok Dhavale, who represents the All India Kisan Sabha, said the government was brazenly repressing the leaders.

"The government is being shamelessness. Farmer leader Ajit Navale had to into hiding fearing arrest. We have been getting reports from several places that police have stopped tempos and trucks carrying farmers. Police officers says they have orders from higher authorities. Vehicles are being fined and not allowed to go towards Mumbai. What are all these?” he said.

Thousands of farmers began a long march from Nashik to Mumbai on Wednesday. Last year, the long walk to Mumbai had garnered tremendous public support, following which the government had announced its farm loan waiver scheme.

This time, the protestors claimed the government has failed to keep its word. Several meetings with the administration have failed, they claimed. Three days ago, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with the local administration and farmer leaders.

"That meeting was inconclusive. Till now, only half of the farm loan waiver disbursements have taken place. The government had announced a package of Rs 34,000 crore. Only Rs 17,000 crore has been disbursed. Where is the rest of the money? Our farmers haven't received it. The chief minister gave us evasive answers, saying some terms and conditions will have to be changed. That will take time. Also, barely any step has been taken to control drought. Maharashtra has been hit by a severe drought. Farmers have to sell their cattle and move out of their homes for jobs. We also demand completion of infrastructure projects," Dhavale said.

In view of the clampdown by the government, the leaders are yet to decide the future course of action. However, a protest has begun in Nashik over this.

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