Madhya Pradesh farmers protest: No impact on vegetable supply, claim officials; Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan likely to join stir on 8 June

Bhopal/Mandsaur: Madhya Pradesh remained largely peaceful on Sunday on the third day of the 10-day agitation by farmers demanding remunerative prices for their produce and waiver of farm loans, among others.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, and ex-VHP leader Praveen Togadia are likely to join the farmers' stir in Mandsaur, the epicentre of 2017's agitation in which six peasants were killed in police firing, on 8 June.

"Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Praveen Togadia would attend our 'Dhikkar Diwas' (condemnation day) programme and condolence meeting which we have rescheduled to 8 June instead of 6 June," said Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh president Shivkumar Sharma 'Kakkaji'.

Mahasangh, a federation of 130 farmers' bodies from across the country, is spearheading the nationwide protest.

File image of former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. PTI

File image of former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. PTI

Sharma alleged the police have been trying to break the ongoing gaon bandh agitation by forcing farmers to come out of their villages with agriculture produce.

"This is a gaon bandh (village shutdown) agitation and farmers are not coming out of their villages. However, police are trying to make farmers leave villages by adopting various means. At places, the administration is sharing fake videos showing that farmers are not participating in the agitation," he alleged.

Police have beefed up security in Mandsaur ahead of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's visit on  6 June to mark the first anniversary of killing of six farmers. Police have deployed drones to monitor traffic during Gandhi's rally.

Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh said drones were brought from Bhopal "to keep an eye on traffic movement for security reasons during Rahul's public meeting".

Five companies of the Special Armed Force (SAF) are keeping a vigil across the district. Meanwhile, Sharma said prices of vegetables are going up in urban areas due to non-arrival of vegetables.

However, Mandsaur Mandi (agriculture market) inspector Samir Das said the arrival of vegetables was normal.

Bhopal Krishi Upaj Mandi secretary Vinay Prakash Pateria said 2,500 quintals of vegetables arrived in the local agriculture market due to Sunday and that there is no impact of the ongoing agitation.

"Sunday was a holiday in mandis. However, about 2,500 quintals of vegetables arrived in (Bhopal) mandi as usual. There is no impact of the ongoing agitation," Pateria said.

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh launched the 10-day-long agitation on 1 June as part of a nationwide strike to press for their demands, including waiver of loans and the right price for crops.

Farmers had held protests across the state in 2017 demanding better prices for their crops.

In the wake of the protests, the state government in October 2017 launched Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana, a scheme to protect farmers over falling farm prices.

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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 07:58:52 IST

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