Madhya Pradesh farmers protest: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today addressed the media and said that keeping the violence in Mandsaur in mind, he will sit at the Dussehra Maidan from Saturday from 11 am and that he will welcome protesters to come and start talks with him. He also revealed that he will start a fast for peace from tomorrow too. The CM said that his government is open to negotiating with the farmers on their demands. At the same time, he sent a strong message to miscreants saying they will be strictly dealt with. Chouhan in his interview said, “From 11 am tomorrow I’ll sit at Dussehra Maidan, people may come and discuss things with me. I will fast to bring about peace.” He further said, “Negative elements will be dealt with strongly. Establishing law and order is our priority. Some people have handed over stones to youth.” Chouhan, while talking about the negative elements’ presence at the protest sites, said that farmers are being instigated.
On June 8, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tried to visit the violence-hit Mandsaur area of Madhya Pradesh but was briefly arrested by the police for violating their rules before being allowed to meet the kin of dead farmers. Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan while talking about the incident said, “The incident of Rahul Gandhi’s detention has blackened the face of democracy today. It shows that this government is moving towards autocracy from democracy,” as quoted by PTI.
He further said, “Soldiers are dying while farmers are committing suicide due to the ineffective policies of this government. Over nine thousand farmers in Maharashtra have committed suicide. While the chief minister of Maharashtra tried to create a rift between striking farmers, his counterpart (in Madhya Pradesh) ordered firing of bullets that killed five farmers.”
The farmers in Mandsaur have been protesting since June 1 demanding loan waiver and better crop prices. Till now five farmers have lost their lives in police firing on Tuesday as the agitation turned violent.