Published: Tue, March 13, 2018

Maharashtra Farmers' Protests: Maharashtra Govt approves most demands, farmers call off protest

Maharashtra Farmers' Protests: Maharashtra Govt approves most demands, farmers call off protest

The farmers reached India's business capital on Monday after marching on foot for up to six days and plan to surround the state legislature of the western state of Maharashtra.

Dozens of Mumbai residents had turned out to show support for the farmers as they marched through Mumbai in the morning, visiting sections of the Eastern Express Highway to offer them biscuits, dates and water.

The state legislature is now having its budget session. He has also been at the forefront of the farmers' protest. The demonstrators comprise members of the All-India Kisan Sabha - the farmer's wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) as well as farmers' unions backed by other political parties active in the state.

"We have agreed to set up a committee to allocate agricultural land to tribals, provided they submit a proof of pre-2005 land cultivation. However, by then, the march was already very much on its way".

"Not just the Opposition, even the ministers were kept waiting outside when the farmer organisation's representatives and the chief minister met for around 2 hours in the latter's ante-chamber". Three members of this panel - revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, Public Works Minister Eknath Shinde, who is also guardian minister for Thane, and irrigation minister Girish Mahajan, also guardian minister for Nashik - addressed the protestors at Azad Maidan after the marathon meeting.

Farmers started the march last Tuesday with the intention of concluding it at Vidhan Bhavan, where the state's budget session is underway. "We have accepted nearly all of their demands", Fadnavis said.

With respect to the demand for complete loan waivers, he said 80 percent of farmers had received the benefit of loan waivers.

As painful images of barefoot farmers - men and women flooded the social media platform, not only it caused pain in many hearts, it also led to a collection drive by some locals. Many till land they do not own, often because their husbands have migrated to the cities for jobs or committed suicide.

This is a problem for the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the centre that extends far beyond one state.

The last time Maharashtra saw a vociferous protest by farmers was in the summer of 2017.

A similar protest in the state was witnesses past year following which the state government had announced the loan waiver.

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