Over 20,000 farmers, tribals to protest in Mumbai: Nearly 20,000 farmers and tribals are scheduled to hold a protest at Azad Maidan, Mumbai on Wednesday, November 22, organised by the Lok Sangharsh Morcha over many demands, including Minimum Support Price (MSP), compensation of 50,000 per acre in case of drought, implementation of Forest Rights Act and complete farm loan waiver. National president of newly formed Swaraj India, Yogendra Yadav and water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh are expected to take part in the protest, which has already commenced from Thane and is reportedly going to reach Azad Maidan today.

While addressing the media ahead of the march, many farmers have pointed out that innumerable benefits given by the ruling dispensation have not reached many people. The government has not waived loans, forest land rights were to given the people, tribals were reportedly to get minimum support price for their products, but they have not received it yet.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Dhananjay Shinde has extended support to farmers’ agitation, saying the government needs to look at the ground reality of the farmers’ plight. He added that representative from all religions would take part in the demonstration.

Meanwhile, other political parties, including the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), are also reportedly going to join the agitation.

Earlier in March, over 35,000 farmers affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) across Maharashtra took out large marches from Nashik to Mumbai over similar demands. The Bharatiya Kisan Union had also taken out a huge march to Delhi from the Uttar Pradesh hinterlands and had laid siege to the capital on October 2 this year.

The National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under increasing criticism from the poorer sections, farmers and backwards since announcements of welfare measures that dominate media space seldom reaches them. Four states are going to the polls shortly and it is expected that the BJP may be held accountable for its promises that haven’t reached the poor.