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Maharashtra: Farmers call off protest after state government accepts most of the demands
Posted on: 13-03-2018 , 08:37:AM | DY365 Bureau

 Picture Courtesy: rediff

March 13, 2018: The farmers' protest in Maharashtra was called off on Monday after the Devendra Fadnavis government of Maharashtra agreed to most of their demands and agreed to implement the conditions agreed upon in the next six months, after thousands of protesting farmers converged at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai.


In a major victory for over 35,000 farmers who trekked 180 km from Nashik to Mumbai over six days under the blazing sun, some even barefooted, the state's Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said almost "all their demands" are being accepted after a 12-member delegation of farmers met government representatives earlier on Monday afternoon, as per reports.
Reportedly, the government agreed to address complaints and appeals under the Forest Act, 2006, in the next two months and relax some of the conditions for loan-waiver eligibility.
The government also agreed to issue ration cards to farmers in tribal areas immediately to help them prove their land claims. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the farmers that he will take up with the Centre the matter of minimum support price (MSP) at one-and-a-half times the cost of production as suggested by the Swaminathan committee.
The Forest Act, which came into force in 2006, led to farmers losing their rights over land on which they continued farming. Now, the government has assured that their claims would be decided on in six months.
Other demands include irrigation facilities and tweaks to land acquisition laws. The government has assured farmers this will be looked into. Fadnavis told the farmers that land acquisition for the Mumbai-Nagpur corridor and other major projects such as the bullet train would be through consent and a fair mechanism. As far as farm loan waiver was concerned, three-fourths of the claims had already been met. Senior minister Chandrakant Patil said Chief Secretary Sumit Mallick will follow-up on all the schemes every two months.
The protest march was orchestrated by the All-India Kisan Sabha, which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Besides Opposition parties, Shiv Sena, a partner in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led ruling coalition, also supported the agitation.

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