Madhya Pradesh farmers protest: Shivraj Singh Chouhan ends fast on second day

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan continued his indefinite fast for peace in the state amid farmers agitation for the second day on Sunday.

He announced a series of decisions aimed at the welfare of the state's farmers, including buying of all crops on Minimum Support Prices, purchase of milk as per Amul Dairy's formula, and setting up of farmers markets in Madhya Pradesh to save them from the clutches of middlemen.

He also reiterated that the government was setting up a Rs 1,000-crore Price Stabilisation Fund to purchase the farm produce at the MSP. The Chief Minister, who was on fast amid the ongoing farmers' crisis in his state, broke the fast by drinking coconut water.

Farmers' protests started last week in Mandsaur over demand for better prices for their produce and debt relief. "I know your (farmers) problems", he said. Only 20 per cent of farmers were loan defaulters and efforts will be made to bring them under the interest-free loan beneficiaries category.

Chennai: A group of farmers, who resumed their protest after ending their month-long stir in New Delhi, yesterday temporarily called off the protest following assurance from the chief minister that their demands would be met.

A Land Use Advisory Committee will be set up as per the panel recommendations, which will advise the farmers on cultivation-related issues.

Before breaking his fast, the chief minister said, "Peace has been restored in MP and no case of violence has been reported yesterday and today".

A PTI report from Mandsaur said Madhya Pradesh police arrested - and subsequently released - 30 activists, including Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav and Swami Agnivesh, in Ratlam, while they were on their way to Mandsaur to meet families of farmers killed in police firing.

The farmers' protest, which began on June 1, took a violent turn on June 6, when five persons were killed in police firing at Mandsaur.

BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan had claimed that the family members of those killed in police firing at Mandsaur on Tuesday have requested the CM to call off his fast.

Chouhan began his indefinite fast on Saturday, asserting he would lay down his life for farmers.

  • Arturo Norris