Madhya Pradesh protest: Shivraj Singh Chouhan begins 'peace fast', as farmers call for action

Bhopal:Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan sat on an indefinite fast at Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal on Saturday for "restoration of peace" amid a farmers' agitation in the state. Although, the opposition Congress dubbed it as "drama".

File Image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

File Image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

"I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state. I know your (farmers) problems", he said addressing a gathering, including cultivators, here.

"The state government stands firm with the farmers. We are going to buy the farm produce and give profitable prices for it", he assured.

The farmers are, among other things, demanding satisfactory prices for their farm produce. Their stir turned violent when five persons died in police firing, while six others were injured on Tuesday in Mandsaur district.

"We have already bought huge quantity of onions at Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 8 rupees per kilogram. Each onion of farmers will be bought. Your labour won't go waste. We are going to buy different varieties of pulses at MSP", the chief minister said.

Chouhan said his government was pro-farmer and recalled efforts underway to make farming a profitable business in MP.

He also said that the irrigation facility has increased manifold and due to abundant water, farmers were reaping rich harvest.

The BJP leader also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying hard to make agriculture a profitable venture.

Chouhan said the government had extended Rs 4,800 crore as relief amount to farmers when their soyabean crop was destroyed last year. Similarly, Rs 4,400 crore went as crop insurance compensation sum last year.

Clad in kurta-pajama and a Nehru jacket, Chouhan sat on fast at a pandal erected at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited's Dussehra Maiden at around 11 am after former chief minister Kailash Joshi put a 'tilak' on his forehead.

As the chief minister entered the venue, his supporters shouted "Kisan ka Samman hai, Shivraj Singh Chouhan hai, Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Bharat Mata ki Jai".

State Congress' chief spokesperson K K Mishra said that Chouhan should tell people whether his so-called fast is a "nautanki" (drama), an event or an act of repentance for his misdeeds that "set the state on fire".

"Though he is trying to send a message that he is doing gandhigiri (using a Gandhian way), it is absolutely not so. He neither sat at the foot of the statue of Gandhi nor did he garland the statue before launching his nautanki (gimmick)", Mishra said.

"He should remember that (demon king) Ravana is burnt every year at the Dussehra Maidan", the Congress leader said.

Under fire over the farmers' unrest spiralling out of control, the chief minister had on Friday announced to go on a fast for "restoration for peace" in the state.

He had also said that the agitation had turned "anarchic", and appealed to farmers to come to Dussehra Maidan and have a dialogue with him.

"I won't sit in my office at Mantralaya (secretariat) but sit at Dussehra Maidan and do all work from there", he had said, adding that those instigating the violence would not be spared.

Published Date: Jun 10, 2017 14:14 PM | Updated Date: Jun 10, 2017 14:26 PM

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