50,000 farmers to begin Nashik-Mumbai long march today

farmers' march Amey (File) Farmers who marched to Mumbai in March 2018 | Amey S. Mansabdar

Accusing the BJP-led governments at the Centre and Maharashtra of betraying farmers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Tuesday announced several peasants' groups would once again take out a long march from Nashik from Wednesday.

About 50,000 farmers from 23 districts are expected to be part of the march, scheduled to reach Mumbai on February 27. The farmers will press for demands like farm loan waiver, minimum support price, irrigation facilities and provision of pension to farmers.

According to media reports, the district administration in Nashik has refused permission to the AIKS to organise a farmers' march and asked them to organise a demonstration. However, the AIKS reiterated on Tuesday that it intended to go forward with the farmers' march.

The AIKS also said it was opposed to the multi-billion dollar Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, which has seen several farmers along the proposed route approach courts against land acquisition.

A farmers' march by the AIKS in March 2018 had forced the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra to give in-principle acceptance to several of their demands.

"A year has passed, but the state government has not fulfilled promises. Hence, the long march would be taken out against the betrayal of farmers by the BJP-led state and Central governments," the AIKS said.