MUMBAI: The CPI(M) will field its candidate for the ensueing Palghar Lok Sabha byepoll due to be held on 28 May, said Dr Ashok Dhawale, chief of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the farmers' wing of the CPI(M), while addressing a (Vijay and Nirdhaar morcha) "victory and assessment" rally at Dahanu on Thursday to celebrate the Kisan Long March held in early March. Around 10,000 farmers from Palghar, Talasari, Dahanu, Nasik and other surrounding areas attended the rally held at Par Naka in Dahanu.
In mid-March, around 40,000 farmers marched 180 kms from Nasik to Mumbai for the fulfillment of 9 demands like the unconditional loan waiver, transfer of forest land in the name of tribals under the Forest Rights Act,2006, setting up a panel for agro produce, compensation for the Pink Bollworm attack,which affected lakhs of cotton farmers in the State, implementation of the M S Swaminathan Committee, and other demands. The State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured in writing to complete the loan waiver process and other demands in six months,said Dr Dhawale and hence we had called off the Long March as it is a victory for us.We compelled the Fadnavis government to get our demands fulfilled,he said. We will give the Fadnavis government time for the same and our main demand to waive off loans not for the period between 2009 to 2016 but much earlier, said Dr Dhawale. If the demands are not fulfilled during the specified given 6 months time, the AIKS will again take to the streets and show the government the power of the farmers, he said.
We have also adopted a stand not to give our land for the proposed Rs 1.10 lakh crore Mumbai Ahmedabad bullet train and also for the Mumbai Vadodara expressway, said Dr Dhawale. The State government had earlier assured that farm land would not be acquired without permission from us for such mega projects, including the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway, so we will stick to our demands,he said.
Thousands of farmers fom Dahanu, Palghar, Vikramgadh, Nasik, Talasari and other areas participated in the "victory rally" and have decided to leave no stone unturned to stop fancy projects like the bullet train and super highway, which will lead to forced land acquisition in the district,said Dr Dhawale.
Meantime, the CPI(M) have decided to enter the Palghar Lok Sabha byepolls fray scheduled to be held on 28 May after the sitting BJP Palghar MP Chintaman Wanga died while in office in January 2018. The Politburo will decide on the candidate and also it is up to the secular parties to support the CPI(M) to defeat the BJP,said Dr Dhawale, as the CPI(M) has nearly 1 lakh dedicated votes in the 6 Assembly constituencies of Palghar LS,he said.
The rally was addressed by senior CPI(M) leaders like Nilotpal Basu, J P Gavit, MLA from Kalwan, Jayant Patil, MLC, Mahendra Singh, and other leaders.