Before ending his 28-hour-long fast, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh today announced a series of measures for farmers, including declaring purchase of farm produce below the minimum support a criminal act. “Any purchase of farm produce below the minimum support price (MSP), declared by the Centre, would be considered a criminal act in Madhya Pradesh,” he told a gathering at BHEL’s Dussehra Maidan here, the venue of his fast. He also announced that the agricultural land would be acquired only after the consent of the farmer.
The CM, who faced heat over the violent farmer stir in MP, broke his fast with a glass of coconut water offered by former state CM Kailash Joshi. Chouhan said he studied the Swaminathan Committee report, submitted in 2002, last night and has taken several decisions based on its recommendations. “The state government would establish ‘Kisan Bazaar’ (farmers’ market) within the area under all municipal bodies. We will also adopt system of Amul Dairy Cooperatives to purchase milk in the state,” he said. He also announced that a copy of ‘Khasra’ (land document) would be sent free of cost at the doorstep of the farmers every year. “Now, the farmers will not need to visit the offices for getting the copy of ‘Khasra’,” he added.
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Further, Chouhan announced to set up a state land use advisory service to ensure better and profitable use of the agricultural land. He also reiterated that the government was setting up a Rs 1,000-crore Price Stabilisation Fund to purchase the farm produce at the MSP. Besides, Agricultural Costs and Marketing Commission would also be set up to ensure better prices of the farm produce vis-a-vis cost of crops, the Chief Minister added. The farmers in the villages would get patta of the plot to construct their own house, he said, adding the tribal people would also get the pattas of land which is under their possession.
Chouhan had launched his indefinite fast for “peace restoration” yesterday amid violent farmer protests in western MP, especially in Dewas and Mandsaur districts over the last ten days. The farmers’ protest, which began on June 1, took a violent turn on June 6, when five persons were killed in police firing at Mandsaur. The farmers’ protest witnessed bandh and arson as the agitation spread in other districts of Madhya Pradesh.