Madhya Pradesh protest: Shivraj Chouhan to sit on fast, invites farmers for talks

Bhopal: Facing heat over farmers' agitation, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday said he will sit on a fast on Saturday at the Dussehra Maidan in the state capital and hear the grievances of the cultivators.

Shivraj Chouhan addressing a press conference on farmers' issues. Twitter/ @CMMadhyaPradesh

Shivraj Chouhan addressing a press conference on farmers' issues. Twitter/ @CMMadhyaPradesh

The chief minister said the state government will bring in a loan-settlement scheme for farmers who defaulted on the repayment of their loans. There are 25 percent farmers across Madhya Pradesh who have failed to repay their loans, he said. "I will sit on a fast in the open and run my government so that farmers can approach me for discussion," Chouhan said.

Chouhan, who appealed for peace, said the government will deal sternly with anti-social elements who are resorting to violence amid the farmers' agitation.

He said the government has constituted a Rs 1,000 crore price stabilisation fund to help farmers secure a better price for their crops.

An Agricultural Cost and Marketing Commission will also be set up by the state government to ensure better prices for farm produce vis-a-vis the crop cost, Chouhan said.

Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since 1 June, seeking loan waiver and higher prices for the farm produce among other things amid widespread violence including several incidents of arson.

On 6 June, five protesters were killed in police firing in Mandsaur district, the epicentre of the agitation.

Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 19:41 PM

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