Angry farmers march towards parliament to highlight their plight
Tens of thousands of farmers and rural workers marched to the parliament in the capital, New Delhi, on Friday in a protest against soaring operating costs and plunging produce prices that have brought misery to many.
The protest is one of the biggest displays of frustration with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which faces a tough general election due by May next year. India's 263 million farmers make up an important voting bloc.
Low food prices, export curbs, anti-inflation policies that keep rural incomes low and a broad shift from subsidies to investment spending have all infuriated and demoralised farmers.
Agriculture contributes about 15 percent to India's $2.6 trillion economy, Asia's third-largest, but employs nearly half of its 1.3 billion people.
Farmers from more than 200 groups began gathering in New Delhi on Thursday. They are demanding that the government call a special session of parliament to discuss the crisis in the countryside.