Maharashtra: Thousands of farmers begin protest march from Nashik to Mumbai

Thousands of farmers have embarked on a eight-day protest march from Nashik to Mumbai for the second time in the last 12 months to press for their demands.

The farmers’ demands include a complete loan waiver, immediate relief in view of the drought-like situation, land rights, minimum support price for crops, better water resources among others.

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) claimed the Maharashtra government led by Devendra Fadnavis has not fulfilled its promises to farmers after the protest march in March 2018.

The march organisers today said that the decision to continue the march was taken on Wednesday night. The 180-km protest march to Mumbai is being organised by the CPI(M)-backed AIKS.

The march could not be taken out on Wednesday as police stopped many farmers from reaching Nashik, the AIKS said.

Ashok Dhawale, president of AIKS, said the organisation had held two meetings with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan earlier this month.

The first meeting was on February 11 and the second meeting was held on February 17, where after three hours there was no progress,” Dhawale said.

“The decision to hold a second-Long March was taken after talks failed,” he added.

The farmers aim to arrive in Mumbai on February 27, when the state Assembly’s Budget session will be under way.