Thousands of farmers and workers from 23 states across India took out a protest march in the national capital on Wednesday, September 5. According to CPI(M), the number of participants is expected to cross 2 lakhs — the largest protest rally Delhi has witnessed in decades. The protesters started arriving in the national capital from various states since Tuesday and were camping at Ramlila Maidan. They demand effective implementation of labour laws, minimum wage, more employment, and recognition of one crore Anganwadi and ASHA workers as a workforce.
Tapan Sen, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said,
“This is a historic union. For the first time, workers and farmers have marched together in such numbers to protest the government policies.”
Around 5,000 have travelled from Nasik where they participated in Kisan Long March in Maharashtra earlier this year. The Kisan Rally saw the participation of around 40,000-50,000 farmers who walked 180 kms from Nasik to Mumbai to request for loan waivers and protest over farmer suicides.
The rally was organised by outfits affiliated to CPI(M) — Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agriculture Workers Union (AIAWU).