Madhya Pradesh: Farmers stage dharna at CM Chouhan's fast venue

Apparently peeved over farmers' agitation which also turned violent in some parts of State, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has appealed for peace and chose to observe indefinite hunger strike from Saturday onwards.

Prompted by the Yogi Adityanath government's Rs 36,359 crore loan waiver package for Uttar Pradesh, farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been demanding a complete loan waiver besides a minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

Chouhan, who has been the chief minister for the last 11 -and-a-half years, said that whenever farmers were in distress due to loss of crops following a natural calamity, he had rushed to them and comforted and helped them.

The farmers, who come from various districts, call themselves a "maha kisaan gatbandhan" and are asking for a loan waiver.

'That is because it doesn't pay to be a farmer in India.

He added that Madhya Pradesh "cannot progress without its farmers", that his government will offer them the best prices for their produce and that "no land will be acquired without the consent of farmers".

He said the Congress gave priority to farmers' welfare.

Earlier in the day, Mandsaur SP Manoj Kumar Singh had said prohibitory orders are in place in the entire district and entry of outsiders will be restricted.

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"A protest is valid (only) when the government doesn't listen".

When MP Police stopped him at the border, he soon jumped on to a bike and started towards Mandsaur but was stopped again near the fields. "The state government is of farmers and public". The CM also invited agitated farmers for a dialogue.

Congress leader Mukesh Naik described Chief Minister Chouhan as ' Arvind Kejriwal part 2' and charged him with making the situation worse by going on a hunger strike. This is almost one-tenth of the farmer suicides recorded in the state over the past 16 years.

Their stir turned violent when five persons died in police firing, while six others were injured on Tuesday in Mandsaur district.

The chief minister said that 65 per cent of the population is dependent on farming and the state can not progress without farmers.

The official claimed all the deceased farmers belonged to the Patidar community.

On Thursday, Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, declared in a tweet: "Are we all paying the Krishi Kalyan Cess to the Central government so that it can buy more bullets to fire on farmers?"

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