Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Muslim, Sikh, Dabbawalas turn servants for protesting farmers

Muslim, Sikh, Dabbawalas turn servants for protesting farmers

Chief Minister said he has formed a committee with the concerned ministers to sympathetically look at the issues and find a solution in a time-bound manner. The farmers had walked 180 kms from Nashik to Mumbai to hold demonstrations for their demands, which include implementation of Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, complete and unconditional waiver of their loans and electricity bills, among others.

Middle Class homeowners most prominently the Sikh Community of Mumbai, were seen distributing food to the farmers participating in the march. Many are tribespeople who have farmed for generations on land they don't own but are demanding recognition of ownership.

Amid mounting pressure and discontent, the Maharashtra government on Monday accepted most of the demands put forth by the farmers who had marched from Nashik to Mumbai. The government has not done anything to provide them with any relief.

While the agrarian crisis of Maharashtra has been a much discussed issue, this is the first time that the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the agriculture wing of the CPM, has taken the protest to the heart of the capital.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the government was "sensitive and positive" towards the demands of farmers and tribes.

Farmers demanded a broader debt waiver program after some of them failed to qualify for any financial relief under the Maharashtra government's initiative past year.

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Earlier, top political leaders including NCP President Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and social crusader Anna Hazare attacked the government for ignoring the case of the farmers.

They were also protesting against the state government's land acquisition for projects, including high-speed railway and super highways.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has assured the farmers that their concerns would be taken care of. Girish Mahajan was in touch with them from day one.

Residents showering the farmers with flowers from a walkway near Mulund. "I appeal to the PM Modi and the CM to not stand on ego and to accept their just demands", Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Indian farmers shout slogans during a rally at the end of their six day long march on foot, in Mumbai, India, Monday, March 12, 2018.

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