All India Kisan Sabha's protest march on Sunday reached Thane. Over 30,000 farmers are heading to Mumbai, demanding a complete loan waiver among other demands. The march will reach Mumbai tomorrow.
The Mumbai traffic police say they are prepared and have also issued a traffic advisory to avoid jams in the city. Elaborate security arrangements are also in place, police said.
The farmers are marching against the failure of the BJP-led government to address agrarian distress.
The march, led by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) - a peasants front of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was launched from Nashik on Tuesday.
#Maharashtra: All India Kisan Sabha's protest march reaches Thane's Anand Nagar. Over 30,000 farmers are heading to Mumbai, demanding a complete loan waiver among other demands. The march will reach Mumbai tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/1Y319XQc5Q— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2018
#Maharashtra: All India Kisan Sabha's protest march reaches Thane's Octroi Naka. Over 30,000 farmers are heading to Mumbai from Nashik, demanding a complete loan waiver among other demands. The march will reach Mumbai tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/TKkM6gF65m— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2018
The farmers are expected to stage a protest outside the legislative assembly on Monday, demanding fair remuneration and loan waiver.
These farmers will seek an answer from the government for non- implementation of the demands that were promised by the government, said Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of AIKS.
"Farmers in the state are reeling under the ripples of agrarian distress and they are under a huge financial burden. The government has not done anything to provide them with any relief. So they are left with no option but to express their anguish through the protest march," Nawale told IANS.
The 180-km long foot march was started with the participation of about 12,000 farmers and the number has reached to 30,000 now, which showed the intensity of discontent among farmers, Nawale said.
As a stream of people flowing in to join the march, the number of protesters will go up to 55,000- 60,000 figure when it will reach the destination, he added.
Complete loan waiver and profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agriculture commodities are the major demands of the AIKS.
These farmers want an immediate implementation of M.S. Swaminathan committee's recommendations, which ensures fair remuneration.
The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink-worm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.
While the organisers have said they would try to reach the assembly in peaceful manner, the government is likely to stop the protest march at Azad Maidan.
In June last year, similar protests had boiled over most parts of the state, forcing the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government to announce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which farmers said has not been implemented properly.
Similar demands of loan waiver and 50 per cent profit over the input cost have been made by farmers across the country, putting the BJP-led central government in a fix.
BJP is not just facing flak from the opposition but its estranged ally Shiv Sena has also extended its support to the protesting farmers.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch video: All India Kisan Sabha protest march reaches Thane's Anand Nagar