Facing the heat from the opposition and ally Shiv Sena, the BJP-led Maharashtra government accepted the demands of agitating farmers, including their right to till forest land, leading the cultivators to call off their stir that had turned Mumbai into a sea of red.
Over 35,000 farmers, who were camping in Mumbai following a week-long march, called off their protest after the Maharashtra government, on 12 March, vowed to meet their land demands. The farmers marched 180 km from Nashik to Mumbai to demand a complete farm loan waiver, forest land rights and the implementation of recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission.
- On 12 March, the Maharashtra government said it would implement within 6 months the farmers’ demand for ownership of land
- Farmers called off the protest after the assurances were given to them in writing
- The farmers marched to Azad Maidan late at night on 11 March, saying they did not want to trouble Mumbai residents by blocking roads on 12 March
- The farmers demanded complete farm loan waiver, forest land rights and implementation of the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission
- Almost 35,000 farmers walked for 6 days, covering a distance of 180 kms from Nashik to Mumbai
Over 300 Protesting Farmers Being Treated for Fever, Stomach Ailments: Reports
Treatment of 300 protesting farmers is underway at JJ Hospital following complaints of fever, stomach-related ailment and leg injuries, reports ANI.
Time to Go Home, After Farmers' Protest Called Off
After calling off the protest, the farmers are on their way back to their respective native villages.
Farmers go back home after protest was called off.
Farmers waiting at the platform.
Farmers waiting at the platform to board their respective trains.
We Have Accepted Most of Their Demands: CM Fadnavis
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that his government had agreed to almost all the demands of the farmers who participated in the 'long march' that culminated in Mumbai on 12 March.
He said that the government would set up a committee to hand over ownership of land, currently notified as forests, to Adivasi farmers tilling them.
A meeting was held with farmers and Adivasi representatives in the Vidhan Bhavan (Legislative Complex). We have agreed to set up a committee to allot such land to Adivasis, provided they submit proof that they have been tilling it. The proof document should be from before 2005. We have accepted almost all their demands.CM Devendra Fadnavis
He said that these applications (for the allotment of such land) would be cleared in six months.
"We need to scrutinise each and every application before allotting the land. The department currently has over one lakh applications from farmers asking for these lands under the FRA," the official said.
Fadnavis said, "We have also agreed to the effective implementation of the Nar-Par-Tapi-Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal river connectivity projects (both pacts between Maharashtra and Gujarat) through which districts of north Maharashtra would get additional water for irrigation."
On the demand by protesters to implement the Swaminathan Commission's recommendation of giving farmers a Minimum Support Price of one-and-a-half times the cost of production, Fadnavis said that the recommendation was accepted and would be implemented.
The Swaminathan Commission was set up during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime and it submitted its report to the Centre when the Congress-led UPA government was in power. They (UPA) did nothing, but we have accepted the recommendations. We will implement it.CM Devendra Fadnavis
He, however, said that the state government could not accept the demand for additional loan waivers.
He said, "In some cases, the loan of the wife was waived as it was lower and the husband's loans weren't. We will set up another committee to look into a fresh definition of a farmer's family to overcome this issue and see how much extra money it would cost the state." He informed that train services would be arranged for the farmers to take them back to their hometowns.
Dr Ashok Dhawale, president of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said, “We have achieved a historic victory as the government has given its assurances in writing this time.”
Govt Should Fulfil Their Commitments: Anna Hazare
Prominent social activist Anna Hazare said, “Only promising to fulfill the demands won't work, it's now the duty of the government to work towards fulfilling what they've committed. They should think about the welfare of farmers so that they don't have to take it to the road next time.”