Tuesday, March 13, 2018

India - A big farmers’ march

“Historic Victory for Farmers of Maharashtra”.
 Countercurrents’ report said:
“The farmers in Maharashtra won a historic victory after 50,000 farmers threatened to siege the state assembly. The Devendra Fadnavis government of Maharashtra has agreed to the demands of protesting farmers.”

“In a major victory for the farmers who trekked 180 km from Nashik to [Mumbai] over six days under the blazing sun, some even barefooted, the state’s [Maharashtra’s] Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said their ‘all demands’ are being accepted.”
Patil addressed farmers camping at Azad Maidan in the presence of Sitaram Yechury.
The “Maharashtra: ‘Long March’ succeeds as govt accepts demands; agitating farmers agree to call off stir” headlined report said:
The farmers on Monday [March 12, 2018] agreed to call off their stir after the state government accepted their demands.
Talking to reporters, Chief Minister Fadnavis said: “We have agreed to set up a committee to hand over forest land used for farming, to tribals and farmers” provided they submit a proof of pre-2005 land cultivation.  In a meeting with representatives of farmers and adivasis [indigenous people] today, “we have accepted almost all their demands.”
The report said:
Fadnavis was under intense pressure to concede the demands.
“Around 90 to 95 per cent of the participants are poor tribals. They are fighting for forest land rights. They are landless and can’t do farming. The government is sensitive and positive towards their demands,” Fadnavis told the state Assembly during a discussion on the ‘Long March’.
The farmers’ demands included complete and unconditional farm loan waiver, pension scheme for farmers, transfer of forest land to tribal farmers who have been tilling it for years, fixing the minimum support price at one-and-a-half times the cost of production, a change in the plan to link rivers in three districts so that tribal lands are not submerged and water from the scheme is made available to these areas and other drought-prone districts. They stand against government’s land acquisition for projects, which included high-speed railway and super highways.

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