Reported By: Mayuresh Ganapatye
Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta
Last Updated: March 17, 2023, 01:32 IST
The protesting farmers had put forward 17 demands for the state government to approve. Pic/PTI
According to farmer leaders, the state government has agreed to all their demands during talks on Thursday, and so until it issues official orders, the Long March will wait on the outskirts of Mumbai till March 20
The ‘Long March’ of farmers that has commenced from Nasik district of Maharashtra will wait near Vasind town on the outskirts of Mumbai, as the second meeting between farmer leaders and the state government was fruitful. Farmer leaders were invited by chief minister Eknath Shinde to hold talks on Thursday regarding their various demands. Along with the CM, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, agriculture minister Abdul Sattar, and officials of concerned departments were also present.
According to farmer leaders, the state government has agreed to all their demands, and so until it issues official orders, the Long March will wait on the outskirts of Mumbai till March 20.
The protesting farmers had put forward 17 demands for the state government to approve, including remunerative prices for onion, cotton, soybean, tur, green gram, and milk. They have also demanded a rate of Rs 2,000 per quintal for onions, and an immediate subsidy of Rs 600 per quintal as well as changes in the onion export policy.
Farmer leader and former MLA Jiva Gavit told the media, “The government has agreed to our demands. We have given them an ultimatum that the orders should be issued within four days and effective implementation should happen at the taluka level. Till then, our Long March will stay on the outskirts of Mumbai in Vasind. We will withdraw our march and return to our villages only after the implementation begins in a time-bound manner. Or else we will continue with our Long March and will enter Mumbai.”
In the three-hour meeting, the state government did discuss all the demands of the farmers in detail. The issue of farmland ownership of tribal farmers, 12 hours of electricity for farmers, and encroachments on tribal farming were also talked about at length. CM Shinde assured the delegation of farmer leaders that this government is with them. “Today we had a very fruitful and positive discussion with the protesting farmers’ delegation. We are with the farmers of the state. Regarding this issue, I will make a statement on the floor of the House. I have also requested them to withdraw their march and protest,” he said.
This is the third such Long March farmers have taken out in the past 7 years over their various demands. About 10,000 farmers from different areas of Maharashtra have taken part in this protest march.
Their other major demands include a complete loan waiver to the peasantry, waiving of pending electricity bills and 12-hour daily supply of power, compensation by the government and by insurance companies for the damage sustained by farmers due to unseasonal rains and other natural calamities, increase in the PM Housing Scheme subsidy from Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, a fresh survey and inclusion of applicants’ names in the ‘D’ list, compensation in cases of necessary land acquisition as per the Kerala formula, filling of all vacancies in government posts, regularisation of all contract workers and scheme workers as government employees, and replacing “bogus adivasis” on government posts with real ones.
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