Taking an aggressive stand demanding repeal of the recently-passed farm Bills, the Maharashtra unit of the Congress on Friday launched a Statewide campaign aiming to collect two crore signatures from farmers which will be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Congress observed the day as Kisan Mazdoor Bachao Din by organising protests across all districts and tehsils in the State.
Revenue Minister and State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said, “This is just the beginning of the struggle. We will continue to work for the benefit of the farmers. The market committee and the minimum support price system have come into being after massive efforts. With the oppressive farm Bills, the BJP government plans to undermine these systems which were brought in to support the farmers.”
The BJP government’s ploy was to help certain industrialists by making farmers landless by promoting contract farming.
Speaking in Nanded at a bullock cart march held his leadership, Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan said that the Union government had passed the Bills in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha with a dictatorial attitude of “we can do what we want to”. “The BJP is looting the country for the last six years by bringing in such laws. Traders are now looting the country in the same way that the East India Company looted the country during the British rule,” he said.
In Mumbai, city Congress president Eknath Gaikwad led the protests while Rajiv Satav, MP, and Gujarat in-charge took the lead in Hingoli. In Amravati the protest was headed by Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur.
Others who headed the protests included Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Sunil Kedar in Nandurbar, Tribal Development Minister K.C. Padvi, and Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar in Chandrapur.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs Satej alias Bunty Patil headed the protest in Kolhapur, while Minister of State for Agriculture Dr. Vishwajeet Kadam held an agitation in the Sangli market yard.