Mumbai, Nov 17 (IANS) In a massive campaign, the Congress in Maharashtra has collected over 6 million signatures of farmers and peasantry who demanded a repeal of the recently-enacted agriculture laws, party leaders said here on Tuesday.
A petition along with the signatures was handed over by state unit President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat to party General Secretary and Maharashtra in charge H.K. Patil.
“No other party has every carried out such a huge campaign and collected such a large number of signatures. These 60-lakh signatures display the immense opposition by the farmers to the new agriculture laws. This will become a role model for the entire country,” said Thorat.
A galaxy of Congress leaders including ministers Nitin Raut, Amit Deshmukh, Aslam Shaikh, party leaders like Sonal Patel, C. Vamshi Chand Reddy, Eknath Gaikwad, Naseem Khan, Hussain Dalwai, and Muzaffar Hussain, legislators, and other office-bearers were present at the function.
The signatures will now be handed over to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, who in turn will submit it to President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, November 19, on the occasion of the 103rd birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Addressing the Congress leaders and workers, Patil said that a Maha Virtual Farmers Rally was attended by over five million farmers, besides there were tractor rallies, protests and agitations across the state in the past few weeks to awaken the peasants on the new agriculture laws.
“It is no mean task to collect 60 lakh signatures. This is a historic campaign with Maharashtra becoming a guiding force for the whole country. The unjust agriculture laws must be repealed and the Maharashtra government must enact a better agricultural law than even Punjab,” Patil exhorted.
Thorat said that under the leadership of the late Indira Gandhi, a ‘Green Revolution’ swept in the country and transformed the agriculture sector, bringing all-round prosperity and development.
“However, the present BJP government has constantly worked to weaken the farmers and the agricultural system of the country. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, floods, cyclone and other problems, such a huge number of farmers took part,” he said.
Thorat said the farmers’ agitation will continue all over until the Centre repeals these “ill-conceived, anti-farmer laws” completely.