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Earlier in the day, Maharashtra farmers called off their protest after reaching an agreement with the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

The Congress party stands with the farmers and trials marching to protest against the Central and State Government's apathy.

The farmers' march which began a week ago from Nashik and culminated in Mumbai was called off on Monday evening after the state government gave specific commitments on two of the protesters' nine demands and assured in writing that the rest would be looked into by committees it would constitute. A statement on the floor of the Assembly, Fadnavis said 95% of those camping at Mumbai's Azad Maidan are tribals and "technically" not farmers.

"We have agreed to set up a committee to allocate agricultural land to tribals, provided they submit a proof of pre-2005 land cultivation. We have accepted nearly all their demands", Fadnavis said. Thousands of farmers commit suicide each year in Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, over failed crops and mounting debt.

The protest comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to implement loan waivers, double farming incomes by 2020 and ensure a 50 percent return of production costs before the 2019 national election (Bloomberg). However, after a four-hour meeting with the cultivators' 15-member delegation, the government remained non-committal on whether the remaining seven demands would be finally met.




About the farm loans waiver, the government said it had already distributed funds to banks for 46.52 lakh farmers and 35.51 lakh farmers had been disbursed their loan waiver amounts.

"Considering the tremendous response we have evoked from across the state, the government can not dismiss us lightly".

Similar satisfactory outcome was reported for other demands including water projects, the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme, fixing of milk rates and pending issues with ration cards to enable farmers and poor get ration at fair price shops.

The Shiv Sena, BJP's ruling alliance partner, threw its weight behind the farmers, saying that irrespective of their red flags the party would back them in getting their problems resolved.

"We have seen urban Maoists in many cities of India". The protest rally, termed Kisan Long March, is one-of-its-kind as no protest in the recent past involving so many people has been carried out so peacefully garnering support from all corners, including citizens and a number of political parties.


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