'Red Sea' Of More Than 30000 Protesting Farmers Reach Mumbai's Azad Maidan

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

Masses of protesting India farmers converge on Mumbai

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. "Most of the agitators are tribals, and their main demand is forest land rights". "The farmers are feeling betrayed by the Maharashtra Government and the BJP-led NDA at the Centre", Maharashtra ABKS president Dr Ashok Dhavale said. They chose to converge at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai by 7am on Monday so that rush hour commuters, especially students headed for exams, are not inconvenienced. "The Mumbaikars are also taking care of them", Vikhe Patil said in the House.

The huge march by farmers and Adivasis will proceed to the KJ Somaiya Ground in Mumbai before heading towards the state Legilsativ Assembly on Monday.

Mumbai police issued a traffic advisory in anticipation of the impact thousands of farmers will have on commutation as they arrive in Mumbai as part of the "Long March". Sharad Pawar led NCP has also offered its support to farmers.

"A positive decision will be taken". The first phase of our agitation is to ensure that the State Government waives Rs 34,000 crore worth farm loans.

On Saturday, the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) parties also extended their support to the farmers' march. "We are ready to discuss with the government but will not withdraw the protest".

Farmers, meanwhile, are complaining that they have not been given the loan waiver that was promised to them. They are landless and can't do farming.

Fadnavis said his government was in touch with the march organisers since March 6. Water resources minister and BJP leader Girish Mahajan met the leaders of the Kisan Sabha and Communist Party of Marxist and requested them to withdraw the march.

"We will talk to them and sort out their issues. All help was provided, like traffic management and deployment of medical vans", he said. He added that a meeting with the chief minister would take place after 2pm. The farmers are demanding longstanding implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, which says that farmers should be paid one and a half times the cost of their production and Minimum Support Prices (MSP).

These farmers want a complete waiver of loans and their electricity dues. A government emissary then met their leaders and persuaded them to alter their schedule.

Tarabai Chaudhari, a 50-year-old farmer from Vani village in the Dindori taluka of the Nashik district, said: "We have been raising this demand for years, but nobody pays any heed to us".

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