MAHARASHTRA Farmers March To Gherao Assembly

SEVERAL thousand farmers and Adivasis affected by agrarian crisis led by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the peasants’ front of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has reached the outskirts of Mumbai to protest against the apathy of the BJP led Maharashtra Government towards them.  Their demands include loan waiver and immediate implementation of MS Swaminathan committee’s recommendation which ensures fair remuneration. The agitating farmers are also seeking compensation of 40,000 INR 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. They March kicked off from Nasik on Tuesday. The massive march of over 25,000 farmers proposes demonstrate outside the legislative assembly in Mumbai on Monday. Security has been tightened and the police issued traffic advisory for a busy Monday. NDTV says the protestors have received political support with senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde visiting the protesters late Friday night and welcoming them.NCP chief and former Maharashtra CM has also supported them. Shinde said that he had come with party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s message and not as a cabinet minister representing the state government of which Shiv Sena also shares power with BJP.The AIKS welcomed the Sena but also asked why the party, an ally in the government, only had encouragement to offer.Ajit Nawale from the AIKS said, “It’s sad the Sena has only offered support. Their presence and the support are welcome but he (Mr Shinde) is a member of the government. Only support is not fair. You call yourselves tigers. When will you use your claws for farmers’ interests?”Political observers say as Lok Sabha is nearing Maharashtra based Shiv Sena is becoming more and more vocal against the BJP.It has already announced to contest 2019 LS poll on its own without any alliance with BJP.The Nationalist Congress Party and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have also offered support to the farmers. Their major demands include loan waiver and immediate implementation of MS Swaminathan committee’s recommendations ensuring fair remuneration and compensation of 40,000 INR per acre for destruction of crops due to hailstorm, pink-worm and allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.

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