Under criticism after five agitating farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced that he will sit on an indefinite fast from tomorrow till peace is restored.
“I have decided to sit on an indefinite fast from tomorrow. It will continue till the time peace is restored in MP,” Chouhan told a press conference here. His fast at Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal will begin from 11 AM tomorrow where he will be holding an open ‘durbar’ for farmers to meet him.
“I request people to come up to me with their problems…We have always been open to discussion. So, I have decided from tomorrow I will be listening to grievances in-person,” the chief minister said.
The Madhya Pradesh government, which had earlier hiked the compensation to Rs 1 crore for the next of the kin of those killed in police firing, promised to soon come out with a solution for farm loan waiver.
The farmers in western Madhya Pradesh, particularly Mandsaur and Dewas districts, have been protesting for a week now, demanding debt relief and better crop prices.
The protest, however, has been marred by violence and killings of five peasants in police firing. The chief minister also sought to put the blame of the violence on anti-social elements for provoking people. “Youngsters were forced into stone-pelting and creation of untoward situation.
People behind this will face consequences. People have given the protest of farmers a very bad shape. Such anti-social elements will be dealt stringently,” Chouhan said. Appealing for peace he said instigators have put stones in the hands of young people.
On demands for increase in prices of farm produce, he said it is because of the state government’s policies that production has seen a record jump due to which prices have fallen down. “We will get them the right price,” the chief minister said.