Maharashtra farmers storm Mumbai seeking government support
Maharashtra-based farmer arrived in Mumbai on Monday to protest the lack of and continued failure of the government to provide support to the agriculture sector, which employs majority of India’s workforce.
Tens of thousands of farmers from India’s western state walked 180 kilometers to the capital, where the annual budget session is underway.
The farmers plan to stage a sit-in protest outside the legislative building to demand waivers on loans in the wake of unseasonal rains, which has destroyed majority of the crops. They are also calling for the fair pricing on agricultural commodities, as well as the decades-old problem of distribution of forestlands to tribal groups.
It was the second major protest action by farmers groups in less than a year as the marginalized sector continued to put pressure on the state government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
The prime ministry is currently facing criticisms all over India after failing to fulfill his promise to double farmers’ income in five years. He, however, remains a popular leader among Indians nearly four years into his term.