Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Victory for the 'Long March' as Maharashtra Concedes Farmers' Demands

Victory for the 'Long March' as Maharashtra Concedes Farmers' Demands

Farmers" leaders called the statement "a lie" and accused the government of trying to discredit the protest.BJP MP Poonam Majahan also stoked a controversy by calling the protesting farmers "urban Maoists'.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appreciated peaceful and disciplined march of farmers and reiterated his government's commitment to the welfare of farmers. "We asked our men working between Dadar (in Central Mumbai) and Colaba (South Mumnbai) to collect food and deliver it to our farmer brothers at the Azad Maidan", he said.

Middle Class homeowners most prominently the Sikh Community of Mumbai, were seen distributing food to the farmers participating in the march. Meanwhile, aboriginal tribes engaged in farming activities in forest land are demanding that they may be given complete ownership of the land they have been cultivating.

The farmers walked 180 kilometers (112 miles) for six days from Nashik district in the western state of Maharashtra to Mumbai, India's financial capital in the second major local protest by farmers in less than a year.

"If it continues to dilly-dally on the farm loans waiver or try to take us for a ride, it will face the consequences", Nawale told reporters late on Sunday. A few of them todday threatened to give up food if the government refuses to give them in writing that their demands would be met. Earlier today, the farmers reached Azad Maidan in Mumbai.

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Kisan Sabha leaders including Ajit Nawale expressed satisfaction over the outcome.

The Shiv Sena, BJP's ruling alliance partner, threw its weight behind the farmers, saying that irrespective of their red flags the party would back them in getting their problems resolved.

Fadnavis had formed a group of six ministers Chandrakant Patil (Revenue), Girish Mahajan (Water Resources), Pandurang Fundkar (Agriculture), Eknath Shinde (PWD), Subhash Deshmukh (Cooperative) and Vishnu Savra (Tribal Welfare) to come up with a solution for the demands by Kisan Sabha.

Many Bollywood actors showed their support to the farmers. The protest rally, termed Kisan Long March, is one-of-its-kind as no protest in the recent past involving so many people has been carried out so peacefully garnering support from all corners, including citizens and a number of political parties. "I appeal to PM Modi and the CM to not stand on ego and to accept their just demands", tweeted the Congress president.

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