The indefinite fast started by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan yesterday is likely to end today.
“The families came, met me and told me that you don’t need to fast. They asked me to visit their village. We will do all we can do for them. If peace remains, we will decide the further course of action tomorrow,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Chouhan had stated that people can approach and discuss their problems with him, assuring them of all help. “I won’t sit in my office at Mantralaya. But I will do all work from here,” he said. Addressing the farmers he assured that their labor won’t be in vain. “I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state. I know your (farmers) problems,” he said.
He also stated that the state government will buy the farmer’s production and give them profitable prices.” The state government has taken many important decisions in the past years. We have made provisions for the farmers to get loans at zero interest rates and even to deposit Rs 90,000 over a loan of Rs one lakh for fertilizers and seeds,” he added. He made an emotional appeal to farmers, saying he has been a farmer and understands their problems.
The Opposition, however, slammed Chouhan’s decision as hypocrisy. “Instead of indulging in gimmicks Chouhan should seriously address the problems of the farmers,” a Congress official said.
The leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh said that Chief Minister had got down to drama. “While the farmers in the state are on the roads with their demands, the Chief Minister has got down to this nautanki. He will now spend crores of rupees in this Kejriwal-like drama. The truth is that Chouhan is trying to divert the public’s attention from the core issue and is hence using all these cheap tricks,” the Congress leader said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist State Secretary Badal Saroj stated that “This is nothing but hypocrisy.”
Abhishek Patidar, a farmer, had joined the protests on Tuesday at Mandsaur’s Piplya Mandi. As the protests turned violent he was shot twice. His family which is already under debt burden now has to deal with the loss of a loved one.
Angry farmers want action against police officers who shot at the farmers and added that the “Rs. 1 crore compensation promised by the government won’t bring back their loved ones”.
More than 1,600 farmers committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh in 2016, according to official figures. Between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 6076 farmers had committed suicide in the state.
VIDEO: MP CM Shivraj meets farmers, says his fast will continue till peace returns in state