Three months after it was routed in the Maharashtra assembly polls, the Congress will launch its first state-wide protest on Wednesday in support of farmers and other issues, an official said on Tuesday.
The protest will be carried out at all district party headquarters in the state with hundreds of activists expected to participate, a party spokesman said, hoping it would revive the grassroot base of the party.
The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman said the state farming community has been going through critical phase, following unseasonal rainfall, hailstorm, as well as drought.
“The farmers have incurred huge losses and many are resorting to suicides. Despite this, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at the Centre and in the state have ignored their plight,” the spokesperson said.
The MPCC has demanded immediate waiver of all farm loans, sanctioning of compensation of between Rs. 25,000-Rs. 50,000 per hectare for losses, waiver of electricity bills, providing seeds for the next season and other related issues.
On the issue of reduction of petrol prices, the MPCC pointed out that oil prices in the international markets have fallen by nearly 58 percent per barrel between May 2014-January 2015.
In contrast, the retail prices of petrol have come down by just around 17 percent and diesel by only 15 percent, it pointed out, adding that there should be a further reduction in these to benefit the masses.
The MPCC will also protest the amendments to the new land acquisition bill, which it said are against the interest of the farming community.