Madhya Pradesh agrarian unrest: Shivraj Singh Chouhan continues fast for second day

"I have always tried doing a lot for farmers, and their problem is ours". The delegations pressed for loan waiver and "satisfactory" prices for their produce.

Earlier in the day, Chouhan said that despite falling asleep "intermittently", the farmers and their issues made a constant thorough in his dreams and thoughts and hence, vowed to solve the pertinent matters.

"I won't sit in my office at Mantralaya (secretariat)... but sit at Dussehra Maidan and do all (official) work from there", Chouhan had said. Due to the firing, 5 farmers were killed. "We will think about it and discuss it and thereafter, we will definitely take a decision in the interest of farmers", Chouhan said. "Ye upwaas Madhya Pradesh me shanti bahaali ke liye kar raha hoon.Jab tak puri tarah se shanti bahaal nahi hogi, tab tak upwaas chalega, (I am having this fast for Madhya Pradesh" peace, till the time situation doesn't come under control, I will continue my fast)" Chouhan said.

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. "We haven't seen any chief minister keeping a fast for poor farmers", a farmer told ANI.

However, other farmers' outfits stuck to their previous announcement of 10-day long strike denying any agreement with the government. One farmer died later of injuries in clashes with police. He also met several representatives of farmers' organisations and listened to their problems on Saturday.

The activists were stopped by the police at the Dhodhar toll plaza in Ratlam district's Jaora town and detained in the Circuit House there for about 30 minutes. They even asked me to put an AC, but I said that wasn't required.

After being stopped, the activists sat on protest on the Mhow-Neemuch Highway, disrupting traffic movement.

Village knowledge centres will be set up and a Rajya Bhoomi Upyog Paramarsh Seva (state land use advisory service) will be started to give timely advice to farmers on crops.

The Mandsaur-Neemuch region, about 300 km from the state capital Bhopal, became the nerve centre of the storm of farmer distress.

  • Leroy Wright