The farmers' protest being held at the borders of Delhi are to intensify yet again with farmers joining in all the way from Maharashtra. More than 5,000 farmers will commence their vehicle march from Nashik to Delhi on Monday starting 3:00 pm.
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the constituent organisations of the farmers' coalition, had a meeting at Nashik at 1:30 pm to flag off the march. A gathering of
farmers from 20 districts of Maharashtra will travel 1,266 kilometers by road to the Rajasthan-Haryana border of Delhi.
"The vehicle jatha will begin with a massive public meeting at Nashik at 1.30pm. About 5,000 farmers will join this meeting and participate in the vehicle march. Most of them will accompany us till the Maharashtra border. Thereafter, 2,000 or so farmers will continue to travel to Delhi," said a statement by Ashok Dhawale, President at AIKS. Before entering Madhya Pradesh, the protestors are to meet farmers from other areas of Maharashtra including Ozar, Pimpalgaon Baswant, Chandwad, Umrane, Malegaon, and Shirpur and Dhule districts.
This development is in light of the propaganda being floated by the Centre regarding the protests not being a pan-India movement but rather a politically motivated agitation erupting from Punjab and Haryana. "The government is running a propaganda that whatever is happening in Delhi is only because of farmers from Punjab and Haryana. When thousands of farmers from Maharashtra will travel around 1,300 kilometres to participate in the protest, it will effectively counter the government's argument," added Dhawale.
The farmers' protest was triggered by the three farm laws rushed through the Parliament by the BJP government earlier this September. The new laws will enable agriculture-based businesses to function with minimal regulation, as well as hoard large quantities of food commodities to generate economies of scale in the long run. Farmers believe that the amendments favour solely the corporations; they are worried about losing out on the minimum support prices, and their bargaining power in front of the business giants.
Apart from the three farm laws, protesting farmers also want a repeal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill of 2020.