Thousands of farmers from Maharashtra on Monday left for Delhi from Nashik to join the ongoing agitation by cultivators seeking the repeal of three agri laws passed by the Centre.
The farmers, who started off in private vehicles, were led by leaders of the Kisan Sabha.
A Kisan Sabha leader said farmers from 21 districts in Maharashtra are on their way to Delhi.
He said agriculturists from Maharashtra have been demanding waiving of ”inflated” power bills and implementation of the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan Commiittee.
Their other demands include an aid of Rs 50,000 per acre to those farmers whose crops were damaged due to unseasonal rains.
Addressing the gathering of farmers, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha leaders Ashok Dhawale and Ajit Navale criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) over the agri laws.
They alleged that the new farm laws were enacted with the sole purpose of benefiting select corporates at the cost of farmers.
The farmers are expected to reach New Delhi, a distance of over 1,200 kms, on December 24 through Mumbai-Agra national highway, a leader said.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers.
Multiple rounds of talks held between the government and the protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have failed to break the impasse.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)