Maharashtra farmers' protest ends as government accepts their demands

Farmers plan to block access to the state legislature building from Monday until their demands are met. The budget session is currently underway

The farmers' march saw extensive support pouring in from locals as well as all major political parties, such as the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (Raj Thackeray) and Shiv Sena. The AIKS, affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is one of the largest and most influential farmer's organizations in India. The demand that caveats to the State's loan waiver scheme be dropped so that genuine small farmers are not excluded is also being considered.

Farmers in Maharashtra who were left out of the 2008 loan waiver announced by the then government would be brought under the ambit of the last year's scheme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Their major demands include access to land under the possession of the forest department that their forefathers used to cultivate, implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report and widening the scope of the farm loan waiver scheme announced by the government previous year. "The number of farmer suicides in Maharashtra stood at 2,414 from January to October previous year", Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and R.P.N. Singh said in a statement.

On the implementation of the M S Swaminathan Commission report, he said the government would pursue it with the centre. A committee including farmers' association members will be set up to oversee the proper implementation of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Samman Yojana. The farmers want to be paid double what they now receive, hoping to eventually get one and a half times what the crops coast to grow.

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"Glorious victory to #KisanLongMarch". The farmers have decided not to withdraw the movement till their demands are met. It took them six days to reach Azad Maidan - a ground that is frequently used for protests and concerts - in the early hours of Monday. "We will not end our protest until they give us written assurances around fulfilling our demands", said Ajit Nawale, state general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, the organiser of the march. Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "The mammoth #FarmersMarchToMumbai is a stunning example of people's power".

Water resources minister Girish Mahajan said, "that a marathon meeting was held with the agitating farmers".

Mumbai:To ease the commuters during rush hours, especially the students headed for exams, protesting farmers from across Maharashtra chose to converge at AzadMaidan in south Mumbai by 5am. The remarks drew flak from the CPI (M), NCP and the AAP.

Subhash Talekar, the spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, "We thought about helping the farmers with food as they are our food-providers and have come from remote parts of the state". The farmers further demanded that there should be work done on land reforms and the extra and unclaimed and unused land be given to the landless farmers. Traffic diversions have been put in place by the Mumbai Traffic Police between March 10 and 13.

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