Sharad Pawar Addresses Farmers at Azad Maidan, Lashes Out at Govt
Farmers from 21 districts of Maharashtra have made their way to Mumbai to protest against the Centre’s farm laws.
Addressing a massive rally held by farmers from districts of Maharashtra at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on Monday, 25 January, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “Braving cold weather, farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are agitating for the last 60 days. Has the PM enquired about them? Do these farmers belong to Pakistan?”
Farmers from 21 districts of Maharashtra have made their way to Mumbai to protest against the Centre’s new contentious agricultural laws, with many reaching the city’s Azad Maidan on Sunday evening for Monday’s rally.
Governor Has Time to Meet Kangana But Not Farmers: Pawar
Pawar further said, speaking about the Governor of Maharashtra, that the state “has never seen such a governor before”.
“He has the time to meet Kangana (Ranaut) but not the farmers. It was the moral responsibility of the governor to come here and meet you,” Pawar said, according to ANI.
"We said 'send it (the laws) to a select committee where people of all parties are there'. But the Central government said, 'No discussion. We came with this and we will pass it without discussion. You all have come here to support'," Pawar said, according to NDTV.
"Today every farmer is saying first repeal these laws and then we can discuss,” he reportedly added.
He also alleged that the government is trying to destroy farmers and that the latter had shown their strength in these times.
Farmers Gather at Nashik, Begin March to Mumbai
Thousands had gathered on Saturday at Nashik, and began a 180 km march to Mumbai.
Maharashtra Congress also, reportedly, showed its support.
According to ANI, A Navle of All India Kisan Sabha said:
“Almost 15,000 farmers left Nashik and reached here today. More people will come tomorrow and we’ll go to the Governor’s house. Sharad Pawar said that he’ll come. CM Thackeray has supported us. Leadership of parties in Maharashtra government will come tomorrow.”
In the final phase on Tuesday, the farmers will assemble at the Azad Maidan, unfurl the tricolour, sing the national anthem and take a pledge to continue the struggle of peasants-farmers till they get justice, SSKM leaders said, according to IANS.
Mumbai Police have made elaborate security arrangements at the Azad Maidan with police personnel assisted by nine platoons of the SRPF, drones and other agencies deployed.
The action on Tuesday will coincide with the proposed 'Farmers Republic Day Parade' in the national capital for which an estimated 100,000 tractors have reportedly reached the Delhi borders.
What Are the Main Demands of Farmers?
The main demands of the farmers at the rally are:
- Repeal of the three ‘anti-farmer, anti-people and pro-corporate’ farm laws
- Enact a central law guaranteeing remunerative MSP and procurement
- Withdraw the Electricity Amendment Bill
- Repeal the four Labour Codes
- Vest all forest lands, temple lands, pasture lands etc in the names of the tillers
- Resume the implementation of the Mahatma Phule Loan Waiver Scheme for farmers, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the protesting farmers in New Delhi are conducting the tractor rally on Republic Day, the protesting farmers in Mumbai will hoist the national flag at Azad Maidan, in solidarity.
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