Maharashtra Farmers Continue March From Nashik, Demand Loan Waiver

More than 25,000 farmers led-by All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Thursday, 8 March, continued their march from Nashik to Mumbai, protesting against Maharashtra government’s anti-government policies, on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway, ANI reported. The farmers reached Thane district’s Shahapur on Thursday, 8 March.

The farmers commenced their 180-km-long march from central Nashik, and are scheduled to gather at Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha on reaching Mumbai on 12 March.

The farmers are reportedly demanding a complete waiver of loans and electricity bills, as well as the implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.

Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of AIKS, said that the chief minister’s loan waiver was a miserable failure.

"The state government declared a loan waiver package, but 1,753 farmers have committed suicides [since then] because it has failed miserably because of poor implementation" - Ajit Nawle, state general secretary, AIKS as quoted by Hinduatan Times

According to Hindustan Times, the AIKS also wants farmers in the state to be given Rs 40,000 per acre as monetary assistance for crop damage because of last month’s hailstorms and unseasonal rains.

Media is totally blind to this mass agitation of farmers of Maharashtra

— shaik (@dawoodasw) March 8, 2018

Also Read: No Option But to Commit Suicide, Say Maha Farmers After Hailstorms

The Fadnavis government has been under attack for not being able to honour assurances the farm loan waiver of Rs 34,000 crore announced in June 2017.

Speaking to NDTV, Raju Desle of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) said:

"We want the state government to refrain from forceful acquisition of farm lands in the name of development projects like the super highway and tracks for bullet trains"

Maharashtra farmers long march from Nasik to Mumbai to press their various demands. Over 50,000 farmers participated in this march.

— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) March 8, 2018

Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar told PTI that the government has sent a memorandum to the Centre seeking a financial assistance of Rs. 2,400 crore for “pink bollworm” attacks on cotton crops and damage to crops caused by hailstorms and unseasonal rain.

According to Desle, as many as 1,753 farmers have committed suicide since June last year.

(With inputs from NDTV, ANI)

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