MUMBAI: Over 20,000 farmers, marching from Thane to Mumbai, demanding state's support on several issues including compensation for drought and loan waiver reached Dadar on Thursday morning.
The two-day march started at Thane and reached Mumbai's Somaiyya Ground at 5 pm on Wednesday.
The march will conclude at Mumbai's Azad Maidan on Thursday, where farmers will stage an indefinite sit-in till demands are met.
Maharashtra: Lok Sangharsh Morcha that comprises of tribals and farmers across the state reaches Dadar. The Morcha that has begun from Kalyan yesterday is marching towards Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The farmers are demanding loan waiver and drought compensation among others. pic.twitter.com/K6c3RHp4jb
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
The march has been organised by Lok Sangharsh Morcha. The farmers are demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, which suggested that farmers must have assured access and control over resources such as land and water. They are also demanding an increase in the Minimum Support Price and a judicial system to ensure its implementation.
"We have been consistently asking the state government to fulfil our long-standing demands but the response has been lukewarm. We are forced to launch this agitation," said Pratibha Shinde, general secretary of the Morcha.
"We are taking maximum care to ensure that Mumbai citizens are not inconvenienced," Shinde said.
The farmers are scheduled to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis later in the evening.
Speaking to ANI, general secretary of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha Pratibha Shinde said, "We will definitely meet the Chief Minister and put forward our demands. Only after the meeting, we will be able to decide whether the government and we are on the same page or not. In the last six months, the government has not even done even two per cent of the works they promised to us.
On Wednesday evening, Maharashtra`s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan met the protesters and asked them to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Fadnavis to which the farmers agreed.
In March this year, nearly 50,000 farmers walked all the way from Nashik in north Maharashtra to Mumbai to demand loan waiver and implementation of the Forest Rights Act, among other things.
With agency inputs