Farmers’ March to Go on Despite Inconclusive Talks With Maha Govt
Maharashtra cabinet minister Girish Mahajan on Wednesday talked to the agitating farmers.
The farmers’ march from Nashik to Mumbai will continue after talks with the Maharashtra government to address their demands remained inconclusive, the march organisers said Thursday, 21 February, PTI reported.
Thousands of farmers marching to Mumbai to protest against the Modi government were stranded in Nashik, awaiting clearance from the Mumbai police.
Led by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the farmers from about 23 districts were supposed to begin their march to Mumbai on Wednesday, 20 February and were slated to reach the state capital on 27 February.
Maharashtra cabinet minister Girish Mahajan reched Nashik on Wednesday to talk to the agitating farmers.
“We held talks with the minister for over three hours. The government appeared positive to 80 per cent of our demands. The minister said he would speak to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis first.”AIKS president Ashok Dhawale to PTI
Dhawale said Mahajan informed AIKS representatives that the assurances would be given in writing. "The AIKS has decided to go ahead with the march beginning Thursday morning till the government does so," he added.
He also said police is not going to stop the farmers now, PTI reported.
Their demands include implementation of farm loan waiver, handing over of forest lands, granting legal titles to tribal farmers for the forest land they have been tilling, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations for minimum support price and irrigation facilities.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday took to Twitter to accuse the Narendra Modi government of betraying farmers despite "signing letters of promises" and said their agitation across the country would continue.
"Modi and BJP state governments are busy with just jumlas. They betrayed the annadaata, despite giving signed letters and making promises. But our kisans won't give up. The March to Mumbai resumes," Yechury wrote on Twitter.
The AIKS had told PTI on Tuesday it was opposed to the multi-billion dollar Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which has seen several farmers along the proposed route approach court against land acquisition.
A farmers' march by the AIKS last year had forced the state government to give in-principle acceptance to several of their demands.
"A year has passed but the state government has not fulfilled promises. Hence, the long march would be taken out against the betrayal of farmers by BJP-led state and central governments," the AIKS told PTI.
The Fadnavis government in the state on Sunday, 17 February had claimed that more than 43,000 forest rights have been cleared by the Maharashtra government just in the last three months, PTI reported.
This information was reportedly given during a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, called to address various issues related to farmers.
Last year, nearly 30,000 farmers had taken out a march from Nashik to Mumbai.
(With inputs from PTI)
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