Over 15,000 farmers, led by the All India Kisan Sabha, Maharashtra, started their vehicle march from Nashik on January 23 and are set to reach Mumbai this evening. Among other things, they are demanding a repeal of the three new agri laws.
Protesting farmers headed from Nashik to Mumbai. Pic: All India Kisan Sabha
A sea of protesting farmers is headed to Mumbai. Over 15,000 farmers, led by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Maharashtra, have already reached the outskirts of the metropolis. By today evening, they are expected to reach Azad Maidan where a massive public meeting will be held tomorrow morning on January 25.
Thereafter, the huge rally will march to the Raj Bhawan and submit a memorandum to the Governor.
“The rally has been a success and the protesting farmers will reach Mumbai by today evening. They will first be welcomed at Vikhroli, where some speeches will be held. Thereafter, the rally will proceed to Azad Maidan in the heart of south Mumbai,” Kisan Gujar of AIKS Maharashtra told Gaon Connection.
These thousands of farmers of Maharashtra are protesting against the three farm laws of the Central government. Through their Nashik to Mumbai rally, they are lending support to the two-month long farmers protests going on in Delhi. Several rounds of discussions between the Central government and protesting farmers in Delhi have failed to cut the ice. Gaon Connection has been regularly reporting on the developments from Delhi.
The main demands of the farmers rally headed to Mumbai are: Repeal the three farm laws; enact a central law guaranteeing remunerative MSP (minimum support price) and procurement; withdraw the Electricity Amendment Bill; repeal the four labour codes, settle titles under the Forest Rights Act, 2006; and resume the implementation of the Mahatma Phule Loan Waiver Scheme for farmers, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The farmers rally was flagged off yesterday, on January 23 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, from from the Golf Club Maidan in Nashik in hundreds of tempos, pick ups and other vehicles.
A large public meeting was held before the rally began from Nashik. It was addressed by AIKS national president Ashok Dhawale, CITU national vice president D L Karad, AIDWA national general secretary Mariam Dhawale, CPI(M) MLA and CITU state secretary Vinod Nikole, AIKS state president Kisan Gujar, AIKS state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale, AIKS state joint secretary Sunil Malusare, DYFI state general secretary Preethy Sekhar and SFI state vice president Kavita Vare.
After leaving Nashik, the vehicle march halted at Ghatandevi near Igatpuri last night on January 23. Today morning, thousands of farmers marched down the Kasara Ghat, and then resumed their vehicle march to Mumbai.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the farmers protests in Delhi, has given a nationwide call for struggle from January 23 to 26, including rallies to the Governors of states.
Accordingly, over 100 organisations affiliated to the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Trade Unions Joint Action Committee, Struggle Committee of Mass Movements, Nation for Farmers and Hum Bharat ke Log came together and formed the Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (Maharashtra) in a meeting held in Mumbai on January 12.
The Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha called for a massive joint sit-in or mahapadav at Azad Maidan in Mumbai from January 24 to 26. As part of this, the protesting farmers are reaching Mumbai today evening.
Tomorrow, on January 25, there will be a massive public meeting at 11 am. Political leaders, such as NCP national President Sharad Pawar, Congress state president and state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena leader and state environment and tourism minister Aditya Thackeray, are expected to address this public meeting.
After the public meeting, the huge rally of protesting farmers will march to the Raj Bhawan and submit a memorandum to the Governor.
On Republic Day, January 26, hoisting of the national flag will be done at Azad Maidan along with the singing of the national anthem and a pledge will be taken to make the ongoing struggle of peasants and workers victorious, informed press release of AIKS Maharashtra.