Thousands of farmers from 21 districts of Maharashtra who are protesting against the Centre's new farm laws gathered at Nashik on Saturday. They are now marching to cover 180 km to Mumbai , where they will hold a massive rally on Monday at the city's iconic Azad Maidan. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also expected to attend the rally.
Visuals from the march to Mumbai show a sea of farmers, some waving flags and carrying banners, proceeding along the roads of the Kasara Ghat region. The farmers, drawn from several smaller unions have joined under the banner of the All India Kisan Sabha, are expected to reach Mumbai in a few hours.
#WATCH | Maharashtra: Under the banner of All India Kisan Sabha, farmers march towards Mumbai from Nashik in support of farmers agitating against three agriculture laws at Delhi borders; Visuals from Kasara Ghat between Nashik to Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/kWtBEpIQ1Y— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2021
The Nashik farmers' rally comes days before a tractor rally set to proceed on January 26. Over a thousand tractors are expected to take part in the rally that will be held along Ring Road. Permission for the same have been sought from Delhi Police for the same.
The Centre has so far held 11 failed negotiations with the farmers. It told the Supreme Court that the rally would be an 'embarrassment to the nation'. The apex court turned down Centre's request to halt the rally. It upheld the farmers' rights to peacefully protest and left it up to the police to decide on the tractor march.
Farmers have also turned down the Centre's suggestion to halt the farm laws for 1.5 years. They have been protesting since November 26 and have demanded repealing of the laws.
The government on the other hand is insistent that the laws would benefit the farmers and said that it will offer only written guarantees for MSP. The laws would remain but they are open to amendments, the Centre said.