A foot march of farmers and workers spearheaded by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to draw the government's attention towards various demands of these sections began from Dindori town in Maharashtra's Nashik district to Mumbai on Sunday.
The organisers said that thousands of farmers and unorganised sector workers are taking part in the 'Long March' that has been organised over demands like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for onions, appropriate price for agricultural produce, electricity bill waiver for farmers, speedy compensation for crops losses due to the unseasonal rains and forest land rights.
Several Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHA workers and tribals are also taking part in the march, they said.
Former MLA J P Gavit is leading the march that set off around noon from Dindori, around 25 km from Nashik city.
The participants were seen carrying red flags of the CPI(M) and placards with slogans like "Give MSP to onions" written on them. The farmers poured onions on the road to register their protest.
Gavit said, "Although CPI(M) is not in power in the state as well as the Centre, we are fighting for people's problems with the support of people. We will not do anything that will cause problems to the general public."
After reaching Nashik city, the marchers will take a night halt on the ground opposite the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), the organisers said.
District Guardian Minister Dada Bhuse is scheduled to hold talks with the organisers and other representatives of the march this evening, they added.
In 2018, a similar 'Long March' from Nashik to Mumbai was led by the CPI(M), Kisan Sabha, and other like-minded organisations over various demands, including an unconditional loan waiver and transfer of forest land to tribal farmers who have been tilling it for years. Thousands of farmers participated in it. After it reached Mumbai, the government - then led by Devendra Fadnavis - accepted their demands, following which the protest was called off.
The distance between Nashik and Mumbai is around 170 km.