The Maharashtra government on Friday accepted all the demands made by protesting farmers who set out to march from Dindori in Nashik to Mumbai.
After their talks with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, they had halted their march in Vasind, waiting for the announcement in the Legislative Assembly. The talks between the All India Kisan Sabha and the government were initiated by former Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA J P Gavit.
Gavit, though, said that the demands have been accepted but the march will not be called off yet. “We have halted the march. Until the state government issues a notification, we won’t leave. We want not just assurances but on-record notifications regarding the announcements,” said Gavit.
Onion growers to get Rs 350 a quintal
Meanwhile, Shinde on Friday announced Rs50 per quintal in subsidy for onion farmers, taking the total aid announced to Rs350 per quintal. He also announced the formation of a committee that will include cabinet ministers, government officials and Gavit along with CPM MLA Vinod Nikole. This committee will look into the problems related to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in Maharashtra. The committee is expected to give its report within one month.
One of the 14 demands raised by the farmers was to put the names of cultivators on records for forest lands up to four hectares. Among other issues to be discussed in the committee include encroachment of forest land, transferring land belonging to temple trusts and grazing grounds to be given to farmers who cultivate the land.
One of the major demands accepted by the state government is to include tribals who did not get benefits of farm loan waiver schemes announced in June 2017 and December 2019.
Shinde also said that the government has already announced an increase in the honorarium of Anganwadi and ASHA workers in the budget presented last week and an announcement regarding 20,000 vacant posts of Anganwadi workers to be filled will also be made. He said the farmers’ protest was non-political and contained genuine demands.
Lauding the efforts of Gavit and others, he appealed to the farmers to withdraw their agitation. “The demands raised by them are genuine and none of them are walking for personal gains,” he said.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)