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Thousands of Indian farmers march to Mumbai seeking govt support

12 March 2018

Thousands of farmers march into Mumbai to protest in front of the Vidhan Sabha on Monday.

The similar demands of loan waiver and almost 50 percent profit over the input cost have been made by farmers across the country, putting the BJP-led central government in a delima. The farmers' demands include a complete loan waiver, fair price for farm produce, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, and compensation for hailstorm-affected farmers among other things. Last year, the Maharashtra government had announced a loan waiver of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the farm loan waiver scheme. This farmers' ire will destroy the government, says the Sena in its mouthpiece "Saamana'". Dhawle added that I want to assure people of Mumbai that they will not face any inconvenience due to farmers protest.

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Farmers who walked barefoot from Nashik to Mumbai, cutting a distance of 200 km, have reached Mumbai's Azad Maidan to voice out their various demands. On Saturday, the farmers started from Vashind and reached Bhiwandi by afternoon, before halting for the night at Mumbai Dhaba near Kharegaon Toll Naka. Let us see how they respond.

According to the traffic police, the protesters will enter the city at 10 am from Anand Nagar toll naka, Mulund, via the Eastern Express Highway, and will proceed through Vikhroli, Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, Chheda Nagar, Suman Nagar and reach Somaiyya Ground, Sion, around 9 pm on Sunday. However, Ajit Navale, leader of the Communist Party and convenor of the Kisan Sabha, which is spearheading the protest, refused to be drawn into any discussions at this stage and made a decision to go ahead with the March.

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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.

"We want ownership of the 7/8-acre farm land that my family has been cultivating for decades".

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The protesting farmers have completed a 180 kilometers (112 miles) journey from Nashik to Mumbai on foot over the course of four days and plan to stage a sit-in protest outside the state legislative assembly building. "We are ready to discuss with the government but will not withdraw the protest. While we believe that the number of protesters would grow on Monday", an IPS officer said. Shiv Sena's Aditya Thackeray had also met the farmers and interacted with them.

Thousands of Indian farmers march to Mumbai seeking govt support