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The Congress party stands with the Farmers & Tribals marching to protest against the Central & State Govts. apathy.

"Not mercy but we demand our rights" more than 30,000 distressed farmers a lot of them from tribal belts put up a show of strength in South Mumbai's Azad Maidan.

"Forest rights are key to increasing farm incomes, and is rightly one of the key demands", said Geetanjoy Sahu of TISS, who led the research. In 2017, the AIKS observed a 11-day farmers' strike and a road blockade across the state, but most of their protests, being confined within districts, never succeeded in attracting the attention of city residents.

The farmers protested against the alleged failures of the BJP government on the farm front, including non-implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and the Forest Rights Act.

Maharashtra's farmers on Monday said that it was their combined strength, which made the government bow down in front of them and accept their demands. "Hope wish and pray that good sense prevails upon our people and all the demands are met and settled amicably".

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.

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Kisan Sabha leaders including Ajit Nawale expressed satisfaction over the outcome.

The state government has set up a six-member committee to look into the demands.

Farmers demanded a broader debt waiver program after some of them failed to qualify for any financial relief under the Maharashtra government's initiative a year ago. The farmers marched overnight to the maidan so as not to cause inconvenience to the students appearing for their exams today.

Apart from the Opposition parties, the Shiv Sena, a partner in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition, also vocally supported the agitation. He told the Maharashtra Assembly that minister Girish Mahajan had been in touch with the farmers since the first day of the protest.

"The whole nation supports and salutes our farmers protest march for their democratic rights in the most disciplined manner".

The state also assured organisers of the march that farm land would not be acquired without consent for projects, including the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway and the bullet train project.


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