Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde Meets Protesting Farmers, Says Talks Positive

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday met a delegation of farmers who are marching from Nashik to Mumbai with a 17-point charter of demands. 

The farmers’ demands include an immediate financial relief of Rs 600 per quintal to onion growers, uninterrupted electricity supply for 12 hours and a waiver of agriculture loans. 

“We had very fruitful negotiations on all issues and most have been resolved…I will be making a statement on Friday,” The CM said after the meeting. 

Shinde while talking to the press said, “There was a detailed discussion and it was positive. There will be a statement on this in the legislature (on Friday).”

Shinde has already announced a subsidy of Rs 300 per quintal for onion farmers and the government has agreed to increase the amount further. 

The farmers and tribal members taking part in the “long march,” according to one of its leaders, would continue until the government took some concrete action.

The foot march, which started from Nashik district on Sunday, has now entered the Thane district, neighbouring Mumbai.

Earlier, on Wednesday night, the government sent ministers such as Dada Bhuse and Atul Save to meet with the farmers who had entered the Thane district.

CPM leader Jiva Gavit, who is leading the “long march,” said that it will continue until the government takes some decisive action to address farmers’ concerns.

Gavit while talking to the reporters said, “They (the government) have to show the willingness to implement it, and give orders to officials. When we find that the administration has started working…when we get messages from our taluka and villages that officials are on the ground, only then we will stop the long march.”

He added that the march started with the determination to reach the Legislature Complex in Mumbai, and they have enough stock of food grains to easily last for some time.

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