Thousands of protesting India farmers converge on Mumbai

The farmers who are covering a stretch of 30 km every day aims at gheraoing Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha in Mumbai on March 12. | ANI Twitter

Over 15,000 farmers of the All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS), demanding a complete waiver of loans, along with amendment in crop prices, arrived in Bhiwandi on Friday as part of their 182-km protest walk from Nashik to Mumbai.

The march has been organised to protest the failures of the state BJP government on the farm front, including issues like farm loan waivers, remunerative prices for produce, non-implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission as well as the Forest Rights Act, he said.

About 30,000 farmers in India's western state of Maharashtra are now on a protest march to demand loan waiver, implementation of government commissions report on farmers and compensation for crop damage. But they refused. Finally, we told them to move early to Azad Maidan in the night itself so that the examinees are not affected. "I am confident that the farmers can expect a positive outcome at tomorrow's meeting".

A year ago in June, similar protests gave a rise to intense situation over most parts of the state, forcing the CM Devendra Fadnavis-led government to annouce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which was not implemented properly, according to farmers.

Talking to media persons, farmers' leader Dr Ajit Nawale who has been leading the march, said: "The ABKS is solidly behind me".

# Maharashtra CM Devendra fadnavis to meet representatives of farmers at noon, say sources.

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Road traffic was largely unaffected in the city as farmers reached south Mumbai on Sunday around midnight but police are on alert in case of possible traffic disruption later in the day.

"The agrarian crisis is very severe".

The ABKS was part of the steering committee of farmers' outfits that started unprecedented strikes a year ago.

Maharashtra has been seeing multiple farmer agitations, said media reports The Nationalist Congress Party, led by Sharad Pawar, has also been holding agitations against the state government. "My father Uddhavsaheb has sent specially to meet and extend my party's support to you. We have marched more than 100km and will go back only when all our demands are fulfilled".

Opposition Congress, NCP, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and AAP, as well as ruling ally Shiv Sena have extended support to the farmers' march.

Currently, the budget session of Maharashtra state legislature is underway.

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