Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

MP CM ended fast after releasing it made zero impact: Congress

MP CM ended fast after releasing it made zero impact: Congress

As protests erupted across the state after the firing, the Chief Minister began what came to be dubbed a "peace fast". Former Chief Minister Kailash Joshi offered coconut water to Chouhan for ending his fast at the Dussehra Maidan here. His wife Sadhna Singh, higher education minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, home minister Bhupendra Singh, women and child welfare minister Archana Chitnis and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raghunandan Sharma are present with him.

Chouhan has promised farmers a profitable price for their produce, but ministers in his government have refused that a crop loan waiver, one of the major demands of the protesting farmers, is on the anvil.

Those instigating violence will not be spared, Mr Chouhan said and added, "justice will be done and culprits will be punished". Chouhan, who sat on "indefinite fast' on Saturday, said that farmers' work will not go in vain". Subsequently, the farmers' protest witnessed bandh and arson as the agitation spread in other districts of western Madhya Pradesh including Neemuch, Dhar, Ratlam and Jhabua. "I know your (farmers) problems", he said. The delegations pressed for loan waiver and "satisfactory" prices for their produce.

The farmers' protest, which began on 1 June, took a violent turn on 6 June, when five persons were killed in police firing at Mandsaur. 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. It bolstered his image as a pro-farmer chief minister even though he had done little to assuage the woes of farmers.

Curfew was lifted from all three police station areas of Mandsaur city yesterday, but was in place in Pipliamandi police station area, which is 15 kms from Mandsaur district headquarters and where five farmers were killed in separate police firings during the agitation. He said agricultural land would now be acquired only with the consent of farmers concerned. But the officials did not allow her to meet him.

Commenting about the amenities provided to him in the tent he has made a stay in for the fasting period, he said, "I was told that this was a five-star tent".

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