In the scorching heat, thousands of farmers and tribals of Maharashtra are marching from Nashik to Mumbai with their various demands. This batch of farmers is going to reach Mumbai on Friday. Efforts are being made by the state government to pacify the angry farmers.
The government has also announced a grant of Rs 300 per quintal to onion farmers. However, till now the farmers’ organizations are not completely satisfied. The farmers moving towards Mumbai say that one more round of talks will be held with the government, after which they will take a further decision.
Former MLA Jeeva Gavit, who is leading the farmers’ march, told that the next round of talks will be held with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, concerned ministers and top officials of the state. Ministers Dada Bhuse and Atul Save met a delegation of farmers late on Wednesday night after farmers and tribals moving towards Mumbai from Maharashtra’s Nashik district entered Thane district.
Gavit said that they have responded to 40 per cent of our demands. Honoring the invitation we have received, we will attend the meeting. Gavit said that if the government’s response was unsatisfactory, the march would continue. He said that in the meeting held on Wednesday night, the minister was positive about some of his demands. However, the decisions will be taken in the state secretariat.
On Wednesday too, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had invited the farmers to come to Mumbai for talks, but then the farmers had turned down their demand. In fact, on Tuesday, the farmers were to have a meeting with the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, which was postponed by the government. The farmers were not happy with this and decided that they would not go to Mumbai to negotiate with the government. After this, two ministers of the Maharashtra government came to Shahapur in Thane to hold talks with the farmers and invited the farmers to come to Mumbai and hold talks with the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, which the farmers accepted.
Ajit Nawale, general secretary of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha, said that whenever onion prices fell, the farmers got only assurance from the government, not justice. We have been raising the issue of milk producers, but the government is only giving assurances. Farmers are taking out a foot march for the purpose of pressurizing the government for justice.
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It is noteworthy that the state government has already decided to give subsidy at the rate of Rs 300 per quintal two days ago. The Chief Minister is saying that the state government will stand by the onion farmers. This government belongs to the farmers, their demands are seriously considered by the government and real decisions are taken.
The protesters began their padyatra on Sunday from Dindori town in Nashik district, about 200 km from Mumbai, to press for various demands. Their demands include immediate financial relief of Rs 600 per quintal to onion farmers, ensuring uninterrupted power supply for 12 hours and farm loan waiver.