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Political ploy: MP CM Chouhan on fast for peace in violence-hit state; Congress protests

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Special Correspondent

NewsBits.in

BHOPAL: The farmers’ agitation in MP took a definite political colour on Saturday.

In a bid to assuage the frayed nerves of farmers and the raging violence in state, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan started an indefinite fast at BHEL Dussehra Maidan here.

He also shifted the entire secretariat to the makeshift office at the venue and started meeting representatives of farmers to listen to their demands.

On its side, the MP Congress held protests in various cities and towns and had face-off with police at Jabalpur. In Bhopal they tried to gherao the CM at BHEL Dussehra Maidan, but were cut off by the police and leaders arrested. Later, a hawan (religious ritual) for sanity to prevail on Shivraj was done.

No major violent incident was reported across the state during the first half, though farmers blocked the national highway at Narsinghagrh in Rajgarh for quite few hours and minor incidents were reported from Ganj Basoda in Vidisha, Dhar and other places.

FAST: The CM started off his indefinite fast – a step termed as drama by opposition - by appealing all concerned ‘not to set the state ablaze and restore peace’.

He said that during his tenure of 11 and half years as CM, each of his breath was for welfare of state and farmers’ welfare has always been his priority.

He called upon everyone willing to talk to approach him freely and hold discussions as only discussions could bring solutions. He also reiterated all steps taken by him recently towards satisfying farmers’ demands like purchase of onions at Rs 8 per kg, purchase of summer Mung crop at support price, establishment of agriculture stabilization fund worth Rs 1000 crore and setting up of a special commission to fix prices for perishable crops like fruits and vegetables.

After meeting the CM, a delegation of Bharatiya Majdoor Kisan Sangh said that it was satisfied with the discussions and the CM had assured them remunerative price for their crops. They added that implementation was awaited.

Chouhan’s wife Sadhna Singh, veteran leader Kailash Joshi, almost entire cabinet, BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, assembly speaker Sitasharan Sharma and others joined him on the dais at the start of the fast.

VIJAYVARGIYA’S PARALLEL DARBAAR

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya held parallel meetings with farmers at Indore at a time when Chouhan was meeting them in Bhopal while on fast. Later, Vijayvargiya blamed the bureaucracy for messing up the situation and said he would apprise the CM of the issues put across by farmers.