The farmers have touched under the banner of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM), supported by other social and political organisations. Nashik farmers affiliated to All India Kisan Sabha and various other farmer organisations started their march towards Mumbai. Farmers will gather in Mumbai and then march towards Delhi so as to support the ongoing two-month farmers’ struggle in Delhi on Republic Day. Around 15,000 farmers had already started their statewide vehicle march from Nashik to Mumbai on Saturday. The march, which began from the Golf Club Maidan with hundreds of tempos and other vehicles, was halted in the night at Ghatandevi near Igatpuri. It has been resumed and the farmers started their march towards Kasara Ghat so as to reach Mumbai.
Farmer and participant Sahebrao Shere at the march in Mumbai said “Anti-farmers black laws brought by BJP government are not acceptable to us. Our voices should reach from Maharashtra to Delhi. We will march from Mumbai and then reach Delhi on January 26. Farmers from at least 23 districts like Thane, Nashik, Palghar, and Ahmednagar have joined our march. Around 15,000 farmers gathered at the Golf club maidan at Nashik on Saturday before marching to Ghatandevi near Igatpuri. On Sunday they started to march to Mumbai.
SSKM convenor Ashok Dhawale said the agitation was an attempt to expand the two-month-old fight against the farm laws. “We will organise sit-in protests at Azad Maidan. On Monday, we will organise a ‘morcha’ to Raj Bhavan which will be attended by top leaders like Sharad Pawar, Aaditya Thackeray, and Balasaheb Thorat,” said Dhawale.
Members of labour unions and political parties such as the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), and Communist parties will also join the farmers’ morcha. “Our main demand is repeal of these farm laws and enactment of a law guaranteeing minimum support prices (MSP) across the country along with the withdrawal of electricity amendment bill,” said Dhawale. He added that the agitation will conclude with the hoisting of the national flag on January 26, Republic Day. Thousands of farmers have been protesting at different borders of Delhi since November 26 last year against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The farmer leaders decided to extend the agitation to state capitals with an aim to sensitise the urban population of the farmers’ plight. Recently, labour unions marched in South Mumbai and held a rally at Azad Maidan in favour of the farmers. Prominent farmer leader Raju Shetti and social activist Medha Patkar addressed the rally.