ABKS threatens govt, says rally to kick off from Nashik on Feb 20
Raging over the central and the state governments' 'failure' to deliver to the demands of farmers, members of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (ABKS) have planned to launch a massive rally from Nashik to Mumbai, between February 20 and 27. Over 50,000 farmers are expected to participate in the rally. The angry members have alleged that the BJP-led government has betrayed the farmers. Responding to it, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has decided to meet ABKS' representatives in Mumbai on Sunday.
The demands of the farmers included pensions, transferring rights of forest lands to the tribals, implementation of Dr Swaminathan commission report for a fair price of crops, complete loan waiver, etc. Earlier, the agitated members had marched from Nasik to Mumbai in 2018.
Dr Ajit Nawale, the general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, told DNA that the rally on February 20, which is the martyrdom anniversary of Comrade Govind Pansare, will end in Mumbai on February 27, the martyrdom anniversary of Chandrashekhar Azad. This rally is expected to swell double the size of last year's.
"We had called a huge farmers' convention in Ahmednagar on February 13. The meet was called to prepare the march. We even submitted a memorandum to the district collector, in which we sought the police permission for this march," Nawale said.
"Last year, the government promised to address our demands. They took very limited action, and only in Nashik. Several places like Thane, Ahmednagar and Raigad were left in the lurch. In fact, several files went missing for the tribal farmers' regions. How? They are fooling us with empty promises," Nawale alleged.
"Police cases have been lodged against our state general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale for organising this meeting in Ahmednagar. It is clear who is behind all these. We condemn the shameful act. The government is trying its best to stop us from holding this rally," said Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhawale.
Calling the rally a peaceful satyagraha, he said: "We warn the government that any repressive attempt will not succeed. The government should realise that farmers' issues can be solved by accepting their demands and implementing them."
“Farmers in Maharashtra will not rest until their issues are addressed. The government must provide immediate relief to the drought-hit regions, provide irrigation facilities the farmers, give them land rights, fair implementation of Minimum Support Price, and a pro-farmer crop insurance scheme, pension for farmers etc, ration,” said Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhawale.