Maharashtra: Kisan Long March Awaits Govt Announcement; Ready for Long Fight
Mumbai: Farmers and tribals in Maharashtra have called off their march for the time being after the government's assurance, but their representatives said on Friday that they would march towards Mumbai if the government took no concrete steps to address their issues.
After looking at the demeanour of the farmers marching 250 km from Dindori, Nashik, to fulfil their demands under the leadership of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the state government has accepted most of their demands. The Chief Minister will also give a statement on this in the Assembly on Friday, said farmer leaders.
However, the farmers still remember how they were betrayed after the long march in 2018. That's why they are not ready to back down; they say they will continue until the government takes concrete steps to implement their agriculture-related demands.
At present, farmers are gathered at Idgah Maidan in Vashind on the border of Mumbai; tents are being set up on the lines of the historic farmers' movement on Delhi's borders. Around 10 tents have been set up so far, and there remains a possibility of more tents. Along with this, the cultural team at the site is seen generating public awareness by singing songs; farmers' leaders are infusing new energy among participants through their speeches.
The government has also learned a lesson from the Delhi movement; if farmers are repressed through police action, they will likely stand up to such events. The government machinery is helpless and trying to present a positive face by providing essential facilities at the site.
A farmers' leader said that if it felt that the demands were being met, this “red flood would return home.”
"Otherwise, after taking sufficient rest at the Idgah ground, this red army of farmers would march towards Mumbai with renewed vigour and will shut the city down," he said.
CPI (M) (Communist Party of India (Marxist)) leader and former MLA JP Gavit is leading the march. He started his padyatra from Nashik.
Speaking to NewsClick, Gavit said he would remain firm until the government issued orders to the officers.
The farmers' demands include ownership rights on forest land to tribal farmers under the Forest Act 2005, immediate financial relief of Rs 600/quintal to onion growers, ensuring a 12-hour continuous power supply and farm loan waiver, etc.
The march is currently in Vasind, about 80 km from Mumbai.
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