Tahlka News Bureau
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Sigh Chauhan will start his indefinite fast today and continue "until peace is resorted". Farmers protests started last week in Mandasaur over demand for better prices for their produce and debt relief. The unhappy farmers blocked roads, vandalized property and set vehicles on fir on Tuesday. A political reported that they were forced to fire to control the situation in which five farmers died on the spot. Another farmer who was detained by the police, died yesterday at a hospital taking the toll from five to six and became ignition for fresh protests in Mandsaur's Dalauda. Additional police force was deployed for the fresh stir.
The chief minister will be available at Bhopal's Daussehra Maidan from 11am onwards. Where people can discuss issues with him. Those responsible will be punished, he said. He is believed wavering interest on far, loans, which could benefit over six lakh farmers at a cost of around 2,000 crore to the taxpayer. He made an emotional appeal to farmers, saying he has been a farmer and understands their problems.
The opposition, however called and it a "drama" and criticized his "hypocrisy".
Leaders of the opposition in Assembly, Ajay Singh said, "While the farmers in the state are on the roads with their demands, the Chief Minister has got down to this nautanki (drama). He will now spend crores of rupees on Kejriwal-like drama.
The truth is that Chauhan is trying to divert the public's attention from the crore issue and is hence using all these cheap tricks," added the Congress leader.
Communist Party of India-Marxist State Secretary Badal Saraoj said, "This is nothing but hypocrisy."
Abhishek Patidar, a farmer, had joined the protests on Tuesday at Mandsaur's Piplya Mandi. He was shot twice after the protest turned violent. His family was already under debt will now have to face the loss of a loved one.
Angry farmers want actions against the police officer who shot at the farmers and said that "Rs 1 crore compensation won't bring back their loved ones."
On Tuesday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi attempted to travel to Mandsaur to meet the families of those killed in police firing. He switched from a car to two bikes and walked too, but was arrested before he could reach anywhere near Mandsaur.
More than 16,000 farmers killed themselves in Madhya Pradesh in 2016, according to governmental figures. Between 2011 and 2015, according to National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 6076 farmers had committed suicide in the state.
In April, the Uttar Pradesh government of Yogi Adityanath decided to waive farm loan of Rs 1 lakh each. Other states and farmer's are demanding the same waiver now.