Farm bills: Maharashtra Congress to hold virtual rally; 5 million farmers from 10,000 villages set to join

The Maharashtra unit of the Congress will hold a virtual farmers’ rally on Thursday evening, as part of its ongoing protests against the recently passed farm laws.

The Congress said around five million farmers from 10,000 villages in over 25 districts of the state would participate in the planned protest, where the arrangement of virtual platforms has been made.

The Maharashtra unit of the Congress has been protesting against the “anti-farmer” laws over the past three weeks after they were passed by Parliament.

Party leaders will address the virtual farmers’ rally from six districts in the state on Thursday evening.

Congress’s Maharashtra in-charge HK Patil, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, state public works department (PWD) minister, former chief minister Ashok Chavan, and Member of Parliament (MP) Rajiv Satav will participate from Sangamner in Ahmednagar district.

Former CM Prithviraj Chavan will address the rally from Kolhapur district. State medical education minister Amit Deshmukh , women and child development (WCD) minister Yashomati Thakur and energy minister Nitin Raut will take part from Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur districts, respectively.

Party leader Muzaffar Hussain will join the protest from Palghar district.

Also read: Congress-ruled states to intensify farm law stir

“We have put up LED (light-emitting diode) screens, LCD (liquid-crystal display) projector screens and TVs at central places in 10,000 villages to enable farmers to participate. Community, marriage halls, grounds etc have been identified for meetings by the local members of the Maharashtra legislative assembly (MLAs), leaders and district presidents. In some of the districts such as Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, where the internet connectivity is poor, we will not be able to reach out to local farmers. We are expecting an impressive response in those districts, where the party has a strong leadership. Thursday evening’s event will be an unprecedented experience for both our leaders and workers,” said a Congress leader, requesting anonymity.

Thorat said the party would continue to oppose the anti-farmer black laws. “The laws, which were passed without any discussion or debate, do not assure minimum support price (MSP) and will do away with the Agricultural Produce Market Committees’ (APMCs) protection that farmers have been enjoying for all these years. All three ruling parties in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government are on the same page as far as the opposition to these laws is concerned. We will not allow their implementation in Maharashtra,” he added.

Earlier, the party had launched a digital drive #SpeakUpForFarmers across various social media platforms on September 26 following which they met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari two days later and demanded the scrapping of the laws.

On the occasion of the Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, the party had held protest rallies across the state. It has also begun a campaign, which is aimed at collecting the signature of one crore farmers by October 31.

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