Maharashtra farmers 'Long March': CPM awaits 'concrete measures' from Shinde govt after meeting

March 17,2023

As thousands of farmers continued their "long march" towards Mumbai to press their demands, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday called his meeting with their delegation positive. A leader of the march, however, said the farmers and tribals taking part in it would not stop until the government takes some concrete measures.

The foot march, which started from Nashik district four days ago, has entered the Thane district, neighbouring Mumbai. Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis met a delegation of farmers leaders here.

"There was a detailed discussion and it was positive. There will be a statement on this in the legislature (on Friday)," the chief minister told reporters later.

The government on Wednesday night rushed ministers Dada Bhuse and Atul Save to hold a discussion with the farmers who entered the Thane district.

The farmers' demands include immediate financial relief of Rs 600 per quintal to onion growers, uninterrupted electricity supply for 12 hours and a waiver of agriculture loans.

The protesters, holding red flags of the AIKS, started their foot march from Dindori town in Nashik district, around 200 km from Mumbai, on Sunday.

CPM leader Jiva Gavit, who is leading the "long march", said it will continue till the government takes some concrete steps to resolve farmers' issues.

"They (the government) have to show the willingness to implement it, give orders to officials. When we find that the administration has started working...when we get messages from our taluka and villages that officials are on the ground, only then we will stop the long march," he told reporters after the meeting.

The march started with the determination that farmers will reach the Legislature Complex in Mumbai, and they have enough stock of food grains, Gavit added.