Farmers call off stir as Maharashtra accepts demands

Farmers march to Mumbabi to lay siege to Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha

Fadnavis also said the government would take positive decision within six months on giving grants under the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana and Shravanbal Yojana, for which committees would be set up within 15 days. "The government is sensitive and positive towards their demands", the chief minister said.

The Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha or AIKS, which spearheaded the march, demanded the implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission that mandates farmers be paid one-and-a-half times the cost of production and the Minimum Support Price be fixed for their produce. A large number of Mumbaikars were seen distributing food, water, and footwear to the farmers marching in the heat and dust, a lot of them barefoot. Their main demand was for transfer of forest land in their names. "We have accepted nearly all their demands", Fadnavis said.

Last year, for the first time in the country, Maharashtra farmers had gone on "strike" which resulted in the announcement of a farm loan waiver package.

Apart from a blanket waiver, the protestors had sought changes to the criteria for availing of it, saying each person in a family must be considered a separate applicant. "The committee will have representation from the government and from Kisan Sabha", said Ajit Nawale of the Sabha.

The Congress and NCP, who had extended their support to the tribal farmers march, found something fishy in the discussion between Fadnavis and the farmers leaders.

More news: India allows 'living wills' for terminally ill

"The mammoth #FarmersMarchToMumbai is a stunning example of people's power". Besides, they are pressing for unconditional loan waiver and return of forest land.

A huge number of participants in the protests march were tribals, demanding the implementation of the Forest Land Rights Act, 2006, so that land is registered in their names.

Earlier, top political leaders including Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, Communist Party India-(Marxist), general secretary Sitaram Yechury and social crusader Anna Hazare attacked the government for ignoring the case of the farmers.

The protesting farmers have earned the empathy of the urban population, who have come out in large numbers to provide them with humanitarian as well as moral support.

After marching for several days, the protest rally, consisting of almost 50,000 farmers, entered Mumbai and reached the Azad Maidan in the city on Sunday.

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