Indian farmers plan a protest

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The long-march was halted at Azad Maidan even as a delegation of Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, the organiser, went to the state assembly to hold talks with the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who has formed a committee of ministers and legislators to discuss aggrieved farmers demands.

Similar satisfactory outcome was reported for other demands including water projects, the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme, fixing of milk rates and pending issues with ration cards to enable farmers and poor get ration at fair price shops.

More than 30,000 farmers have converged in India's financial capital, Mumbai, after walking 167km (103 miles) from Nashik district to demand loan waivers and better prices for their produce.

In order to avoid inconvenience to locals on their weekday commute, especially Class 10 and 12 students whose board exams are underway, the protesters ditched the original plan to halt at Somaiya Grounds, Sion, in central Mumbai, and continued their walk towards Azad Maidan in south Mumbai Sunday night.

The group, which includes children, women and elderly, says the government has not implemented the loan waivers it promised previous year.

The state government reached out to farmers, promising to meet their demands, but farmers' leaders said they will press on with the protest at Vidhan Bhavan on Monday.

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Earlier in the day, Fadnavis, who was under intense pressure to concede the demands of farmers, had said his government was "sensitive and positive" towards their issues.

All India Kisan Sabha, which led the protest. They are also demanding a waiver of electricity bills as they claim to have incurred heavy losses in the last few seasons due to the failure of monsoon resulting in low crop yield.

The Congress and NCP, who had extended their support to the tribal farmers march, found something fishy in the discussion between Fadnavis and the farmers leaders. He told the Maharashtra Assembly that minister Girish Mahajan had been in touch with the farmers since the first day of the protest.

Residents showering the farmers with flowers from a walkway near Mulund.

While Mumbai police said 15,000 farmers and tribals had participated in the 180km march, the organisers pegged the figure at a minimum of 40,000. "I appeal to PM Modi and the CM to not stand on ego and to accept their just demands".

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