Friday, 17 August, 2018

95 percent are not farmers in Mumbai rally: Devendra Fadnavis

The massive Long March of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha. Express The massive Long March of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha. Express
Jay Anderson | 13 March, 2018, 11:23

Demands like farmers and farm labourers being given a pension if they are above 60 years, ration cards and supply of kerosene are also there which are quite easy to fulfill but the blatant corruption and apathy towards the farmers agenda has deterred the government from providing for them.

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan on Monday said farmers and tribals protesting in Maharashtra were being misguided by "urban Maoists".

Over 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra, who had embarked on a Long Protest March, on Monday returned to their native villages after Maharashtra government accepted their demands. "We asked our men working between Dadar (in Central Mumbai) and Colaba (South Mumnbai) to collect food and deliver it to our farmer brothers at the Azad Maidan", he said.

"We will decide the course of action depending on the outcome of the meeting", AIKS president Ashok Dhawale said ahead of the meeting, "We will insist on the government consenting to our primary demands".

"Around 90 to 95 per cent of the participants are poor tribals".

"Consider how hard it is for tribals who are fighting for forest land rights, consider how hard it is for extremely poor women who are around 60 or 70 years to march from Nashik to Mumbai in such a hot climate", he said.




The farmers wanted the state government to stop forceful acquisition of farm lands for projects such as super highways and bullet trains.

Their widows face abuse and threats to their children's safety when they demand their share of land, a study published previous year showed. Their demands include implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, which mandates that farmers be paid one-and-a-half times the cost of production and the Minimum Support Price be fixed for their produce. Apart from this they also wanted the state govt to provide a compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for crops hit by hailstorm and pink bollworm.

"The government should give us ownership of land because it's our right as tribal people", he said.

The farmers were also demanding a change in the plan to link rivers in Nashik, Thane and Palghar districts so as to ensure that tribal lands are not submerged and water from the scheme is made available to these areas and other drought-prone districts.

Various opposition parties and the Shiv Sena came out in support of the protesters.

Farmers demanded a broader debt waiver program after some of them failed to qualify for any financial relief under the Maharashtra government's initiative previous year.

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