They will spend the next few hours at the Maidan as they negotiate with the government before gheraoing the Vidhan Sabha, two kms from here, as was planned before the farmers began their gruelling long march on Tuesday.
The protest, which is held to demand a complete farm loan waiver among other things, commenced on March 5 from the CBS Chowk in Central Nashik.
From the government's side, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also guardian minister for Nashik district, met farmers' leaders in Mulund as the march entered Mumbai, and assured that most of their demands will be met.
In June 2017, similar protests had boiled over most parts of the state, forcing the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government to announce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which farmers said has not been implemented properly.
Nearly 70 percent of the 300 million Indians are directly or undirectly dependened of agriculture. The police has already issued a traffic advisory. "Some farmers in Dindori taluk have faced bank action and confiscation of tractors", he said.
Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said, "We have one day to talk to the protesters and we will not let this protest hamper the everyday life of Mumbaikars". Farmers are reaching the city in batches and on Monday they plan to march to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly pressing for their demands.
The protesting farmers are reportedly members of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist. However, Ajit Navale, leader of the Communist Party and convenor of the Kisan Sabha, which is spearheading the protest, refused to be drawn into any discussions at this stage and made a decision to go ahead with the March.
They are planning to camp in the grounds until the government agrees to meet their demands. But the bank says it doesn't know anything about it, and I should go ask the person who sent me the message. "Most of the agitators are tribals, and their main demand is forest land rights", Fadnavis said. "We are ready to discuss with the government but will not withdraw the protest".
Except the ruling BJP, all other major political parties - Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, RPI, Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh and MNS have lent their support to the farmers' protest.