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  Metros   Mumbai  30 May 2017  SSS-led farmers march along EEH

SSS-led farmers march along EEH

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 30, 2017, 3:12 am IST
Updated : May 30, 2017, 3:12 am IST

Most people reached office late owing to traffic congestion.

However, it is still uncertain whether these thousands of farmers will be allowed to place their demand for loan waiver there. (Photo: Mrugesh Bandiwadekar)
 However, it is still uncertain whether these thousands of farmers will be allowed to place their demand for loan waiver there. (Photo: Mrugesh Bandiwadekar)

Mumbai: More than 10,000 farmers from across the state arrived in Mumbai Monday morning on vehicles provided by the Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana (SSS), and marched along the eastern express highway (EEH) demanding waiver of loans, resulting in a heavy traffic jam. So much so, people questioned how the police allowed such a march on Monday morning when hundreds of people had left their homes and were headed for office. Most people reached office late owing to traffic congestion.

The farmers who participated in the “Atmaklesh Padyatra” led by Raju Shetti of SSS, will be joined by another 8,000 farmers, as the group is likely to storm Raj Bhavan on Tuesday, demanding waiver of farmers’ loans. However, it is still uncertain whether these thousands of farmers will be allowed to place their demand for loan waiver there.

One of the farmer-agitators who did not wish to be named said, “All farmers have come here on their own and spending their own money to support the protest. None of them have been bribed or asked to come for any specific price.”

Vikas Jamdade, a farmer from Kolhapur, who flagged off the march with Mr Shetti on May 22, said, “Eighty-five per cent farmers are below the poverty line and the reason is we are not given the rate we should get for our produce. We are highly underpaid. Government employees who will get benefits of the Seventh Pay Commission have never offered that the same money be used for the benefit of farmers.”

Satish Bhole, a farmer and lecturer at a village in Loni said, “I own a land parcel of 2 hectare and have mortgaged more than half of it for loans. In the village, my family owns two cows, whom we are not able to feed as, when given a choice, I would feed my family rather than the cattle. And, I work in the field as well to cut the cost of hiring one more labourer.”

Meanwhile, Mr Shetti said, “I feel responsible for their state, what they are going through, as I was the one who asked them to show support to the then prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.”

Tags: loan waiver, narendra modi, swabhimani shetkari sangathana
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)