According to a report by News 18, the Maharastra farmers will be meeting the state Chief Minister Devender Fadnavis at 2 PM on March 12, 2018. The farmers will then decide whether to march towards the Assembly or not. Heavy security has been deployed around the state assembly to take care of any untoward incident. A recent order by the High Court forbids any congregation of people around the State Assembly, but the leaders of the movement are determined to gherao the assembly in support of their demands.

Government not to use force

The government has urged the protesting farmers not to encircle the State Assembly as it will cause great inconvenience to the general public.

It is Monday and the first day of the week.

Exams of 10th SSC Board is also going to take place on Monday. The leaders have however maintained a stoic silence though they have said that the march will start after midnight to prevent any inconvenience to the general public. The government has made it clear that police will not stop the farmers from reaching the Vidhan Sabha if they decide to go on with their plans to encircle the Assembly.

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Broad political support for the agitation

The farmers are led by a CPI (M) supported organization has been getting support from the opposition parties and also crucial BJP ally Shiv Sena.

Meanwhile, the government is scrambling to find a solution to the vexed farmer's woes. The main demands of the farmers include a loan waiver free of conditions, better remunerative price for their crops and the implementation of the Swaminathan commission’s recommendations.

Among the demands is compensation at the rate of Rs 40,000/acre for crops destroyed by hailstorm and pink bollworm.

The farmers are also demanding the allocation of the forest land under cultivation to the farmers and the effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

The march includes a large number of farmers from the tribal-dominated talukas from Nashik, Thane, and Palghar. The CM is finding himself pushed towards the wall with most opposition including Congress, and even allies and some members of his party extending support to the agitation.

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Mumbai Azaad Maidan a sea of red

As multitudes of farmers traveled over 180 kilometers reached Mumbai, the residents did their bit to help ease some discomfort of the grain providers of the nation. The farmers made the grueling journey after walking the 180 kilometers journey in the scorching sun. Many peasants, who have been walking barefooted, had sores on their feet. A temporary medical dispensary has been set up in Azaad Maidan. According to CNN-News 18, many farmers are reportedly suffering from dehydration and blood pressure.

The government is showing a brave face, and the Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan has said that the issue will be resolved peacefully and the farmer’s grievances will be alleviated.

The farmers have been given an invitation for talks with the government.

According to a news report by IANS, a delegation of farmers led by Ajit Nawale, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, Ajit Nawale, Dr. Ashok Dhawale and a dozen other prominent farmers’ leaders will meet the government after 1 PM.

Protests a common occurrence across the nation

Similar protests have happened across the nation and often led to violence. Such protests have happened in the Western part of the nation which is facing drought-like conditions. In 2017 similar protests have happened across the state forcing the CM to announce a conditional Rs 34000 loan waiver.

However, the scheme was improperly complemented, and there were reports of widespread corruption. Similar demands have been made in other BJP ruled states. This year’s union budget has been made with a focus on the farmer’s woes. With the general elections just around the corner, this agitation is the last thing the government wants.