27,000-strong march heads for Delhi from Gwalior

Demands include water, forest and land for Adivasis; Rahul to meet protesters
Nearly 27,000 farmers, labourers and tribals under the banner of Ekta Parishad launched a protest march to Delhi from Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior on Thursday in protest against unfair distribution of land and allotment of their land to corporates. The decision to undertake the approximately 350-km-long march — Jan Andolan 2018 — was taken after talks with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan failed on Wednesday. The Chief Minister went to Gwalior to meet the protesters and assured them that their demands will be discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi with urgency. He also agreed to mediate between them and the Union government to chalk out a new land agriculture policy, said sources. The protesters, however, were not convinced with Mr. Chouhan’s assurances. “There is a complete lack of concern from the government. Now we will march to Delhi to continue our dialogue on a better land reform policy,” said P.V. Rajagopal, chairman of Ekta Parishad, a non-political organisation working for the rights of the vulnerable and marginalised communities.
“We have sent invitations to both the ruling and the Opposition parties for talks but only the Congress has accepted our invite and its chief Rahul Gandhi is coming to meet us at Morena,” added Mr. Rajagopal.
Farming households
He said the march has been launched to support their demand for “jal, jungal and zameen (water, forest and land) for Adivasis and farmer status for women from farming households”. “We want an Act ensuring people’s right to a home. Around 27,000 farmers and labourers of tribal communities from across 15 States are participating in this movement,” said Mr. Rajagopal.
According to Ekta Parishad, Mr. Gandhi will listen to the protesters’ concerns in Morena on Saturday.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/27000-strong-march-heads-for-delhi-from-gwalior/article25128297.ece

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