On March 13, 2023, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) in Maharashtra initiated a Kisan Long March from Nashik to Mumbai, consisting of 10,000 farmers. Their 17-point charter of demands included a demand for better prices, particularly for onions, cotton, soyabean, tur, green gram, milk, and hirda. The marchers demanded Rs 2000 per quintal for onions and an immediate subsidy of Rs 600 per quintal, as well as changes to export policies.
Other significant demands included a complete loan waiver for farmers, the waiving of pending electricity bills, a 12-hour daily supply of power, and compensation from the government and insurance companies for damage caused by natural calamities. The marchers also demanded that forest land, pasture, temple, inam, waqf, and benami land be vested in the names of cultivators. They demanded an increase in the PM Housing Scheme subsidy from Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, a fresh survey, and the inclusion of applicants’ names on the ‘D’ list. Additionally, they called for compensation in cases of necessary land acquisition as per the Kerala formula, an increase in the old age and special pension amount up to Rs 4000 per month, the restoration of the old pension scheme for government employees who joined after 2005, and a 100% grant to partially aided schools. The marchers demanded the filling of all vacancies in government posts, the regularization of all contract and scheme workers as government employees, and the removal of bogus Adivasis in government posts and their replacement with genuine Adivasis.
As of yesterday night, the marchers had gathered outside Nashik city. Today, they marched into the city, throwing onions, tomatoes, brinjals, potatoes, and other vegetables on the road in anger and frustration at Dindori Chowk. The Kisan Long March was led by AIKS leaders, including J P Gavit, ex-MLA, Dr. Ashok Dhawale, Dr. Ajit Nawale, Umesh Deshmukh, Dr. Uday Narkar, Adv Ajay Burande, Subhash Choudhary, Savliram Pawar, Irfan Shaikh, Mohan Jadhav, Ramesh Choudhari, Bhika Rathod, Chandrakant Ghorkhana, Radka Kalangda, Chandu Dhangda, CITU leader Dr. D L Karad, AIDWA leader Mariam Dhawale, and DYFI leader Indrajit Gavit.
The previous night, an AIKS delegation had a preliminary meeting with Senior State Minister Dada Bhuse. News has just arrived that the CM Eknath Shinde and the Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, along with concerned Ministers and officials, will meet with an AIKS delegation on March 14 at 3 pm in the State Assembly premises. The State Assembly is currently in session. Meanwhile, the AIKS has made it clear that the Kisan Long March will continue on its route to Mumbai until a satisfactory agreement is reached.