Maharashtra farmers protest: 7,500 farmers reach Nashik, march to Mumbai from today - Zeeshan Shaikh
-The Indian Express
The march is set to end on February 27 at the state Legislative Assembly in Mumbai, when the Budget Session would be in progress.
Nashik: Tribals, landless agriculturalists and small farmers converged in Nashik on Wednesday for their second “long march” to Mumbai since March last year.
In small contingents, they arrived from places like Peint, Trimbakeshwar, Kalwan, Palghar and adjoining areas, getting off their dust-covered vehicles 8 to 15 km outside Nashik to reach the starting point at the inter-city Mahamarg bus stand. Police estimated that around 7,500 farmers have reached Nashik.
The vehicles were loaded with provisions such as rice, flour, oil and salt in anticipation of the seven-day march that was to begin on Wednesday. However, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) said the farmers would set off on Thursday, as contingents from Thane and Palghar districts, who were delayed after being stopped by police, were expected to reach by then. The march is set to end on February 27 at the state Legislative Assembly in Mumbai, when the Budget Session would be in progress.
The one-day postponement has given the state government a chance to talk to the agitating farmers and reach a settlement. Deputed for the purpose, Water Resources Minister and Guardian Minister of Nashik district, Girish Mahajan, arrived in the city on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Nashik police had refused permission for the march. The police, however, had said while they would not allow a procession, the farmers could hold a protest in Nashik.
CPI(M) MLA from Kalwan, Jiva Pandu Gavit, told the gathering of farmers: “We will start the march towards Mumbai on Thursday morning. We are hoping that the farmers who were stopped outside the district can also join us. We will head to Mumbai to seek answers from this government as to why it failed to live up to the promises it had made last year.”
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