Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ends fast

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Amid the spiralling protest by Madhya Pradesh farmers, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday began his indefinite fast here "until peace is restored". Meanwhile, the CM's dais was replete with top BJP and MP government faces, besides two Modi government ministers, Narendra Singh Tomar and Thanwar Chand Gehlot, and national party vice president Prabhat Jha - all praising the CM's efforts and appealing to him to end his fast for peace.

The opposition Congress has, however, dubbed Chouhan's fast as "drama". Punia also highlighted how there has been no change in the problem faced by the farmers and proceeded to question Chouhan's intention to observe the fast. He said, "farmers' problem is ours". "I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state".

The CM also announced: "To help farmers who can not pay interests, we will try to provide loan at 0% interest rate".

The families of five farmers who died in police firing during protests last week in Mandsaur, had last night urged him to call off his fast.

The incident had infuriated the central BJP leadership, with PMO and home ministry stepping in to seek report from the state on farmers violence.

More than the farmers'agitation, Chouhan's administrative inability and political shortshitedness to assess that violence would spread into other parts of the state after he had brokered peace accepting their aggrarian demand is baffling party leaders here.

"The Chief Minister refused to consider our demand for a loan waiver, and consequently I and others began a protest in front of him".

"The state government stands firm with the farmers".

A photo of an 80-year-old woman being beaten up by cops during the ongoing farmers' protest in Madhya Pradesh went viral on Twitter on Saturday.

Mandsaur, the epicentre of the farmers' agitation in Madhya Pradesh, remained peaceful yesterday with authorities relaxing curfew for 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm. Due to the firing, 5 farmers were killed.

The Chief Minister said: "The violence in Mandsaur will be investigated thoroughly & people involved in it will be punished".

Earlier on June 4, the chief minister had claimed after a meeting with representatives of agitating farmers at Ujjain, that differences with cultivators were ironed out with the RSS' farmers outfit Bharatiya Kisan Sangh even announcing that the strike had been withdrawn. Surjewala said: "Give justice to the farmers". "We will make the state land use advisory service so that farmers get correct and timely information about climate change".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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