Facing pressure from the peaceful protests by farmers and support from the Opposition and Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra government has finally accepted to fulfil demands that were put on table by the protestors – leading the farmers to call off the protest that had been going on since a week.
The gruelling 200-km, six-day ‘Kisan Long March’ by over 35,000 farmers finally ended on a positive note, with the Maharashtra government agreeing to most of the farmers’ demands on Monday evening. The announcement for acceptance of the farmers’ demands was done by Fadnavis-led BJP government when the state ministers addressed at the Azad Maidan where the farmers had gathered up. The march was called off on Monday after the state government gave specific commitments on two of the protestors’ nine demands and assured in writing the rest would be looked into by committees it would constitute.
However, after a four-hour meeting between the protesting delegation and the state government authorities, the government has remained non-committal on seven demands of the nine. Demands like unconditional loan waiver, transfer of forest land in the name of landless tribal, and a committee for agricultural pricing and compensation for the pink bollworm attack were accepted non-committedly. Soon after the meeting, CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “We have agreed to most of the demands raised by farmers and tribal. Their main demand was for transfer of forest land in their names. We have constituted a special team to complete the process in six months.”
After the protest was called off, the protestors also said that the government had made arrangements to send them back to their native places by special trains. The acceptance of most of the demands was welcomed with loud cheers, by the peaceful protestors who had walked all the way from Nasik to Mumbai and had converted roads of the city in red. The meeting ended peacefully and farmers are expecting that even the non-committal demands will be taken care of within next few years.