Mumbai, Oct 2 (IANS) Coinciding with the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Maharashtra Congress on Friday organised a statewide agitation against what it called the “anti-farmers and anti-labour laws” formulated by the Centre.
Speaking at the protest in Nashik’s Lasalgaon village, state Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat termed the new central legislations as “black laws” intended to “enslave” both the farmers and workers of the country.
“On the birth anniversary of Gandhiji and Lal Bahadur Shastri, we have started the ‘Kisan-Mazdoor Bachao Divas’ and demand that the Centre repeal these laws immediately,” Thorat said while addressing a gathering of farmers, labourers and party activists.
Similar agitations were held in all districts of Maharashtra, led by local party heads, Ministers and other elected representatives.
Thorat said the party has launched a massive drive to collect over two crore signatures of farmers and workers to oppose these laws, which would be handed over to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for submission to the President of India.
He added that with these laws, the BJP-led government was trying to benefit certain industrialists at the cost of the poor farmers and labourers all over India.
In Nanded, PWD Minister Ashok Chavan led a bullock cart rally, while other Ministers like Yashomati Thakur, Sunil Kedar, KC Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Satej Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam and others led protests in their respective areas along with the local party supporters.
Former Ministers like Naseem Khan, Mumbai Congress chief Eknath Gaikwad, elected representatives at the civic, state and national levels also joined the protests in Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Threatening to intensify what he termed as the “second struggle for freedom from the black laws”, Thorat said the next phase would be a virtual farmers meet and online agitation in the coming days.