Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is sitting on a fast for “restoration of peace” at the Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal where he has invited agitating farmers for talks. The killing of six farmers in police firing in the state’s Mandsaur district has fuelled protests for higher minimum support prices and loan waivers in several other states.
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Mandsaur peaceful, Curfew relaxed for 12 hours
Mandsaur, the epicentre of the farmers' agitation in Madhya Pradesh, remained peaceful on Saturday with authorities relaxing curfew for 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm. As the situation eased, markets reopened and locals stepped out to stock essentials such as vegetables and milk. District Collector O P Srivastava said normalcy was returning and there was no report of any untoward incident.
Curfew, which was imposed after five people were killed in police firing during a farmers' protest on June 6, was relaxed for 12 hours in five police station areas of the district. Internet services, however, remained suspended in the area.
Congress Dubs Shivraj's 'Peace Fast' as Drama
Congress dubbed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's indefinite fast at Dussehra Maidan for "restoration of peace" as 'drama'.
State Congress' chief spokesperson K K Mishra said Chouhan should tell people whether his so-called fast is a "nautanki" (drama), an event or an act of repentance for his misdeeds that "set the state on fire".
"Though he is trying to send a message that he is doing Gandhi-giri (using a Gandhian way), it is absolutely not so. He neither sat at the foot of the statue of Gandhi nor did he garland the statue before launching his 'nautanki'," Mishra said.
"He should remember that (demon king) Ravana is burnt every year at the Dussehra Maidan," the Congress leader said.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan begins fast for Solidarity
Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan begins fast at the Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal for restoring peace within the state. Chouhan is accompanied with his wife Sadhna.
Chouhan, clad in kurta-pajama and a Nehru jacket, sat on fast at a pandal erected at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited's Dussehra Maiden at around 11 am after former chief minister Kailash Joshi put a 'tilak' on his forehead.
On Friday, Chouhan at a press conference at his official residence announced that he will sit on an indefinite fast for restoration of peace. "I will sit on indefinite fast from 11 am tomorrow at Dussehra Maidan for restoration of peace."
Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweets: "We are all the sons of the soil, non-violence is what we Indians follow, then why are we resorting to violence, The violence is affecting our own."
हम सब एक माँ के लाल हैं। अहिंसा को प्रमुख हथियार माननेवाले देश के नागरिक हैं, फिर हिंसा क्यों? इससे अपनों का ही नुकसान हो रहा।— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) June 10, 2017
Shivraj Singh to Observe Fast, Invites Farmers For Talks
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday announced that he was ready to talk to farmers to reach a peaceful end to what has been an ever-spiralling farmers' crisis in the state. The chief minister also said that he will observe a fast at the Dussehra Maidan from Saturday, 11 AM onwards. "People can come and discuss everything with me. I will be available until we reach a conclusion."
Addressing a press conference, Chouhan said that his government had done a lot for the farmers. We understand the problems farmers face, the CM said. Chief minister alleged that the crisis was being fuelled by "anti-social elements".
Cong warns of Gujarat-wide protests over farmers' issues
Congress in Gujarat warned of launching state-wide protests if the "pro-industrialist" BJP-led state government failed to address the demands of the farmers.
Former president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Siddharth Patel and his supporters on Friday held a sit-in protest outside the Vadodara District Collector office in Raopura area in support of various demands of farmers.
"The Gujarat government headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has been adopting the pro-industrialist policy, while farmers in the state are left to suffer," Patel alleged.
Congress demands resignation of MP CM over Mandsaur firing
Congress on Friday demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his home minister over the deaths of six farmers in Mandsaur in police firing.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi dubbed the BJP governments at the Centre and state as "Band, Baaja, Bullet" regimes that responded to protesting farmers with bullets instead of providing them remunerative prices for their produce.
Accusing BJP's state and central governments of being "insensitive" towards farmers and their plight, she said this is the reason why farmers were agitating in states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
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