Mumbai: Two days after the Maharashtra government conceded most of the demands of the agitating farmers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Saturday called off the 175-kms 'long march'.
The decision was taken after a meeting of the top AIKS leaders this afternoon at Vasind, Thane, where the 'long march' had halted since Thursday, said spokesperson P.S. Prasad.
AIKS leaders announced before the huge gathering that the 'long march' and agitation has been called off with immediate effect and now all the matters would be discussed with the state government panel.
On Friday, after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's statement in the Assembly, the administration issued the necessary orders and sent them to all departments and district authorities.
"From today morning (March 18), the order copies and the implementation schedules have been handed over to us and the 'long march' has been called off," said Prasad.
However, there have been murmurs of discontent at the dole of Rs 350/quintal -- against the AIKS demand of Rs 600/quintal -- for onion growers, to which Prasad said that the leaders would raised it before the government panel meeting, though certain other points/issues in the charter of demands have been resolved satisfactorily.
Last Monday (March 13) over 15,000 farmers launched the 'long march' -- third in five years after 2018, 2019 -- for their 17-point charter of demands, and it was scheduled to reach Mumbai on March 20.
After the state government bowed and held two rounds of negotiations -- first with a ministerial delegation which went to Thane (March 15) and then in Mumbai (March 16) -- most of the demands were accepted.
Shinde even appealed to the farmers to call off the agitation and the 'long march', but the AIKS's wary leaders cited past experiences and vowed that till the GRs and orders were issued within two days, the farmers would halt in Vasind, or they would resume the walkathon to Mumbai.
A 58-year-old farmer from Nashik, who was a part of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)-led 'long march' that halted here, has passed away.
The march had halted here on Thursday (March 16), and the farmer passed away here late on Friday, leaders said.
The deceased, identified as Pundalik Ambadas Jadhav, was resting at his camp here and had his dinner and medicines. Thereafter, he suddenly fell ill, complained of giddiness, vomiting and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead later.
The exact causes of Jadhav's sudden demise is not known and his body has been sent for an autopsy, the report of which is awaited, said spokesperson P.S. Prasad.
Jadhav's distraught family -- many who were part of the 'long march' till it was called off this afternoon -- said that they will not back out but will continue participating in the agitation.
The All India Kisan Sabha and CPI(M) leaders expressed grief and condoled the passing of Jadhav who hailed him as a 'Martyr' to the cause of the peasants in the state.
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