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Devendra Fadnavis to meet farmers protesting in Mumbai

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has invited leaders of the 30,000-odd farmers who marched for over six days from Nashik for holding talks with him, saying the government is willing to address all their concerns.

Fadnavis said a delegation of farmers, who reached Mumbai’s Azad Maidan today, will be invited to discuss their grievances with him. He requested them to not affect the city’s traffic as over a lakh students will be appearing for their board exams today.

The chief minister also declared that he has formed a committee comprising of his cabinet colleagues to understand all demands the farmers are making. Senior ministers holding important portfolios like revenue, agriculture, irrigation, tribal affairs and social justice are members of this committee.

These farmers, who have been brought together by CPI(M)-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, have walked 180 kilometres from Nashik city in north Maharashtra with the intention of protesting at the state legislative assembly. Their demands include complete loan waivers, transfer of forest land to their names, addressal of problems affecting tribals and increased government focus on agriculture.

Political leaders from all parties, excluding the incumbent BJP, addressed these farmers and supported their demands from the government. Apart from leaders of Congress, NCP, MNS and other local parties, even Aditya Thackeray of BJP-ally Shiv Sena met the protestors at Mumbai yesterday and expressed his party’s support.