Madhya Pradesh CM begins 'peace' fast

He said now that Chouhan had virtually admitted that he was unable to run the government, president's rule should be imposed in the state.

Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers' protest, had been on the boil since last week.

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been on a strike since 1 June to demand better prices for their crops along with a loan waiver. He said that he is ready to give up his life for farmers and will not let farmers fall into any trouble. The Mandsaur-Neemuch region, about 300 km from the state capital Bhopal where five farmers were killed on June 6, became the nerve centre of the gathering storm of farmer distress.

Another Congress leader Meem Afzal said, "This is very condemnable that the government is stalling Rahul Gandhi wherever he goes". At this, Singh and Nath protested, saying they wanted to go there to restore peace but were being stopped.

Ajay Singh demanded that all the money that is spent from the state's treasury for the Chief Minister's "drama" should be recovered from the BJP government.

Claiming that the majority of the population in Madhya Pradesh was dependent on farming, Chouhan said that the state can not progress without farmers. "While any pain to farmers is unacceptable, those who have engaged in incendiary activities will be severely dealt with.", the Chief Minister said.

"This will surely benefit the farmers as well as the chief minister". However, the CM remain unmoved and said that he will only end his fast after situation gets backs to normal in the state.

The delegations pressed for loan waiver and "satisfactory" prices for their produce. "By going on a fast he has shown his commitment for the people and the state", he added.

The June 4 meeting between Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and another farmer body, the Kisan Sena, was a case in point. The panel will include members of farmer unions, Chandrakant Patil, state revenue minister said.

Reaching Dussehra Maidan this morning, Chouhan addressed his Cabinet and other leaders and also held a discussion with them before beginning the agitation.

Besides, the farmers are forced to buy manure from the black market at a huge price due to rampant corruption in the state.

Highlighting his various schemes for the farmers, Chouhan further said, "Whenever, there has been a crisis, I did not sit in my office and visited the farmers myself".

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.

  • Zachary Reyes