Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan ends 'peace fast' after 28 hours

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Kin of four out of the five people killed in police firing on Tuesday at Mandsaur - the epicentre of the farmers' stir-had met Chouhan in Bhopal on Saturday. AAP, whose national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal sat on a hunger strike in 2014 against the Centre-controlled police, said that Chouhan's fast was different from Kejriwal's as the former is the CM of a full state.

Chouhan had also blamed the Congress for instigating violence during peaceful farmers' agitation - a charge denied by the rival party, which dubbed the CM's fast as a "nautanki" (drama).

Chouhan also entailed how the families of the deceased met him and asked him to discontinue the fast. "We will think about it and discuss it and thereafter, we will definitely take a decision in the interest of farmers", Chouhan said. "I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state". Early this morning, while sitting next to his wife Sadhna and a potrait of Mahatma Gandhi, he said, "I have always tried everything possible to help the farmers".

At least five peasants were killed in police firing in Mandsaur on June 6.

BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said,"Shivraj Chouhan ji is known as the friend of the farmers and we all know that Madhya Pradesh has delivered the best results in the agricultural sector".

Chouhan, who appealed for peace, said the government will deal sternly with anti-social elements who are resorting to violence amid the farmers' agitation. The farmers are, among other things, demanding satisfactory prices for their farm produce.

The 80-year-old victim alleged that she was beaten up the Madhya Pradesh police last week.

Naresh Sirohi, General Secretary of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, said all farmers had been asked to shoot videos of protest marches. Resonating similar sentiments, another Congress leader Meem Afzal said that the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister called off his fast after he discovered it was making no impact whatsoever. The toll rose to six after an injured farmer died on Friday.

"After all, against whom has he started his fast at Dussehra Maidan?"

Singh said the Congress did not want to draw any political mileage out of the farmers' protest.

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".

Protests spilled into the neighboring state of Maharashtra while farmers in Madhya Pradesh continued to demand loan waivers and higher crop prices.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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