Maharashtra farmers call for ‘Chalo Delhi’ on Dec. 21

Plan of action:  AIKS leaders addressing a press conference in Nashik on Friday.

Plan of action: AIKS leaders addressing a press conference in Nashik on Friday.

Cranking up pressure on the Centre to repeal the contentious farm laws, the Left-affiliated All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) — one of the outfits spearheading the agitation in Maharashtra — on Friday said that thousands of farmers across the State would be travelling to Delhi to join the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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“Thousands of farmers from over 20 districts of Maharashtra will gather at Nashik on December 21 and start a ‘vehicle march’ to hit Delhi to strengthen the struggle and to show solidarity to lakhs of farmers camping around the national national for the last three weeks,” AIKS’s national president Ashok Dhawale said.

He said that the farmers would be traversing a distance of 1,266 km to join their comrades at the Rajasthan-Haryana border at Shahjahanpur around December 24.

“The vehicle rally will commence with a public meeting at Nashik on the afternoon of December 21. There will be a demonstration near the Reliance-owned petrol pump in Nashik,” AIKS’s State general secretary Ajit Nawale said, adding that the ‘protest convoy’ would then make its way to Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Nawale said the AIKS had three main demands: scrapping of the three ‘anti-farmer’ and ‘pro-corporate’ farm Acts; withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill; and ensuring that the Centre provides the minimum support price (MSP) at one-and-a-half times the cost of production besides the guarantee of procurement at fixed MSP rates.

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“Like farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and the surrounding States of Delhi, the farmers from Maharashtra are prepared to dig in their trenches indefinitely till the Centre accedes to our demands,” he said.

Mr. Nawale further said that while the agitation had received overwhelming nationwide support till now, it was only farmers from States around Delhi who had been able to physically agitate.

“In spite of nationwide protests on December 3 and the Bharat Bandh on December 8, farmers from far-flung States have not yet been able to go directly to Delhi and participate in the agitation in large numbers. The reason being railway transport was shut. Maharashtra’s farmers will be the first ones to overcome the obstacles hurled by the Centre to reach Delhi,” Mr. Nawale said, while hoping that this ‘militant action’ on part of Maharashtra’s farmers would spur farmers from other southern States to join in.

Mr. Dhawale said that all like-minded organisations in Maharashtra would be supporting this ‘Chalo Delhi’ campaign. “When the convoy reaches Dhule on December 22 in the afternoon, a support meeting will be held there on behalf of other farm outfits, workers and labour unions across the State,” he said.

To support the ongoing agitation on Delhi borders, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief Raju Shetti had announced earlier that his outfit would be staging a protest outside the offices of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited at Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 3:07:33 pm |