Accusing the government of not fulfilling the promises made last year, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Tuesday announced that the peasants' bodies would once again take out a long march from Nashik to Mumbai beginning February 20. The farmers will reach Mumbai on February 27, the AIKS said in a statement after its meeting.
Farmers - 40,000 in number as pegged by the AIKS - had taken out the protest march in March last year between the two cities to press for several demands, including farm loan waiver, minimum support price and provision of water and pension to farmers. The farmers' bodies have been up in arms against the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project as well.
The state government had "woken up" to and had accepted the farmers' demands after they took out the march between Nashik and Mumbai, it said. "A year has passed, but the government has not executed the promises it made. There is dissent among the farmers," the AIKS said in the statement.
"Hence, a long march will be taken out again against this betrayal by the Centre and state government," it said. The statement was jointly issued by AIKS president Ashok Dhawale and its leaders J P Gavit, Kisan Gujar, Arjun Aade and Ajit Navale.
The new long march also follows 208 organisations of farmers from parts of the country staging protest in Delhi in November last year, raising the demands. "It was expected that the Centre would make provisions in the Union Budget to fulfil the demands. But those were not fulfilled in the interim Union Budget presented by Minister Piyush Goyal," the statement said.
(With inputs from agencies.)