A protest march by the agitated farmers and adivasis from Maharashtra against the failure of BJP-led government to address agrarian distress has reached the Mumbai border. The march, led by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) — a peasants’ front of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was launched from Nashik on Tuesday.
The massive march of over 30,000 farmers is now slowly proceeding towards the KJ Somaiya ground in central Mumbai.
The farmers will be protesting outside the legislative assembly in Mumbai on March 12.
Security has been tightened and the police issued traffic advisory for a busy Monday.
According to a report in NDTV, the protestors have now found political support with senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde visiting the protesters late Friday night and welcoming them.
However, he clarified that he had come with party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s message and not as a cabinet minister in the state government.
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 is 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?”
The Nationalist Congress Party and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have also offered support to the left-affiliated peasants’ outfit.
Complete loan waiver and immediate implementation of MS Swaminathan committee’s recommendations, which ensures fair remuneration are the major demands of the AIKS.
The agitating farmers are also seeking 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.