Madhya Pradesh CM sits on fast 'for restoration of peace'

Madhya Pradesh Farmers stir Farmers stir in MP arson in Dhar arson in Shajapur Minimum Support Price Sub Divisional Magistrate famer strike farmer violence farmers protest

"Hashtagging his fasting campaign with the slogan "#Shivraj4Peace" on Twitter, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Saturday that he's begun his fast, and added that he will "continue to fast until normalcy is restored" in the tense state.

Last evening, Chouhan, whose government came under fire because of death of five people in police firing in Mandsaur district as the agitation spread through western Madhya Pradesh, announced a fast for "restoration for peace".

In Naya Gaon, about 70 km from Mandsaur, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by senior Congress leaders and the JD (U) s Sharad Yadav, was detained by the police when the opposition leaders tried to make their way from the Rajasthan border to Mandsaur, the ground zero of the farmer protests. The state government responded by deploying police and claiming the farmers' campaign was instigated by the opposition, mainly Congress, the traditional ruling party of the Indian bourgeoisie.

Asked about their next move, he said it would be communicated when the higher-ups take a decision on it.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Bhopal's Dussehra Maidan on Sunday.

Referring to Madhya Pradesh, the official said heightened alerts were issued by the local administration in the three divisions in the state - Satna, Sagar and Rewa - where sporadic incidents of violence were reported. Chouhan said some "anti-social elements" wanted to push the state into deep trouble.

According to a 2006 report, later endorsed by the BJP party in its 2014 general election manifesto, but yet to be implemented, all crop prices should be fixed at a minimum of 50 per cent higher than the production costs.

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It isn't even clear if the BKU on Patidar's WhatsApp group is the same group popularised in the 1980s by UP farm leader Mahendra Singh Tikait. Farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur.

While Chouhan requested the farmers not to protest, they did not pay him any heed. For most small farmers, the expenditure is way more than what they earn from their farm produce.

"The families told me that "you don't need to fast".

Chouhan said the government had extended Rs 4,800 crore as relief amount to farmers when their soyabean crop was destroyed a year ago. "The state government stands firm with the farmers". One more farmer died on June 8 with villagers alleging that he was beaten up in police custody. "We will get them the right price", the chief minister said.

Protest leaders, however, have denied accusations of violence.

The CM began his fasting on Saturday to end the violence that has rocked parts of the state, especially Mandsaur, following protests by farmers.


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