Bhopal: A pro-farmer government by its own admission, the Congress government led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath witnessed anguish of farmers for the first time after coming to power on Thursday as farmers from Narsinghpur district protested in Bhopal over low sugarcane prices and other contentious issues.
The farmers retreated after agriculture minister Sachin Yadav promised to resolve their grievances within a week.
As announced on Wednesday, sugarcane farmers of Narsinghpur district who were at loggerheads with the previous BJP government on sugarcane prices, reached Habibganj railway station on Thursday morning but the police did not allow them to exit.
The peasants however remained adamant on meeting the Chief Minister at assembly and police had to let them go but prevented them moving any further at Board office square. Finally, a delegation of farmers met agriculture minister but as the talks failed, the peasants got angry and held protests.
Seeing the situation going out of control, the administration made arrangements and the farmers again met the agriculture minister at Mandi board office where the latter ordered immediate action on some of the demands while seeking a week’s time to act upon issues such as bonus and sugarcane prices.
The farmers too agreed to postpone their agitation till then and retreated. Among other demands, the sugarcane growers are seeking a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 325 per quintal for their crop and bonus.
The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti which is leading the farmers in a communiqué claimed that farmers are pinning hopes on the Congress government as most of the sugar factories based in Narsinghpur are owned by party leaders and MLAs.