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Agitators to lay siege to Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai

12 March 2018

The farmers, who marched with blisters on their feet in the scorching sun, made a decision to walk the last leg of the 180-km march overnight, citing difficulties for office-goers and students appearing for board examinations today.

Over 50,000 farmers and tribals associated with All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) of the CPI (M) are likely to reach Mumbai on Monday for participating in a rally against the Fadnavis Government.

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.

On Sunday, at least 40,000 farmers Maharashtra's Nashik district have reached Mumbai after walking for about 180 km in the blazing sun over the last five days.

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Farmers have been demanding unconditional loan waiver and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

Nearly 70 percent of the 300 million Indians are directly or undirectly dependened of agriculture. "We had one riot force team and a strike team along with police teams posted from nearby stations", Mahesh Shetty, senior police inspector, Shahapur police station said. "The representatives of the farmers have been invited for a discussion at 1 pm today", CM Fadnavis said. "They have given us a time of 12 noon, and we will be at Vidhan Sabha at 12". The loan waiver announced by the state government has not reached farmers effectively.

On Sunday, Mumbaikars showed their solidarity with the protesting farmers by providing them food and water.

The state government's much-hyped scheme of building farm ponds on demand is also a farce, said Raotovar, as while farmers get these ponds sanctioned, the budget is never released on time. He said he was conveying the message of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

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The union leader was referring to the slew of promises made by Fadnavis in the aftermath of the agrarian agitation in Western Maharashtra a year ago, when the farmers had choked off supplies to the APMCs.

The farmers are also demanding transfer of forest land that they have been cultivating since generations in their name, besides forceful acquisition of farm lands for development projects.

Government officials and the police are already in talks with the protesters to avoid chaos on Monday.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray met the farmers yesterday.

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Reports say that the crowd of protesters has swelled to about 35,000.

Agitators to lay siege to Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai