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Mandsaur Anniversary LIVE: Rahul Gandhi Makes Poll Promises at Kisan Rally, Launches Attack on Modi | June 6, 2018, 3:30 PM IST
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We will keep track of major news events in India and across the world through this live blog. Stay tuned as Sumedha Kirti brings you latest updates:

Big news right now: Addressing a public meeting in Mandsaur to mark the first anniversary of the police firing that killed six protesting farmers, Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised to waive off farm loans within 10 days if his party comes to power in Madhya Pradesh. Tweeting ahead of the Kisan Rally, Gandhi said one year had passed since the tragedy but the probe report was yet to come out. Referring to the families of the deceased farmers who are present on the dais with other Congress leaders, Gandhi tweeted, “They are still awaiting justice. I know the pain of losing someone close to me. I tried to share their pain by spending time with them today.” Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls later this year and the Congress is seeking to make this rally big ahead of the Assembly elections. The anniversary of the Mandsaur firing comes amid a nationwide 10-day strike by farmers for a complete loan waiver, implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan Commission and better remuneration for agriculture produce.
Jun 6, 2018 3:30 pm (IST)

Congress workers and farmers during Rahul Gandhi's Mandsaur rally.

Jun 6, 2018 3:12 pm (IST)

Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia's promises for Mandsaur firing victims and farmers ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections later this year.

Jun 6, 2018 3:04 pm (IST)

“My dream is that when we come here after 5-7 years and look at our phones, we find ‘Made in Mandsaur’ written on it. Narendra Modi and Shivraj Singh won't be able to do this work. Kamal Nath and Scindia (Jyotiraditya Scindia) can do this,” says Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Mandsaur.

Jun 6, 2018 2:58 pm (IST)

News18 Creative by Mir Suhail

Jun 6, 2018 2:54 pm (IST)

Rahul Gandhi asks party leaders to take to streets and interact with public. “Whoever would do this, would find place in the next government,” he says.

Jun 6, 2018 2:50 pm (IST)

"We hear you out. We want to hear your grief; we want to hear your 'mann ki baat' and not tell ours. I am sure that now you have realised that we the entire Congress will fight as one for the people. For us, people come first, followed by our party workers. Now go and tell MP what the state government has done with the farmers here. Tell them how Shivraj Chouhan government, RSS and BJP have deprieved you of facilities. Tell them that we (Congress) never privitsise education and healthcare and provide them at the bare minimum cost to the common man," Rahul Gandhi says.

Jun 6, 2018 2:43 pm (IST)

"Kamal Nath, Scindia and I preach for love because 'humari padhai pyaar ki hai' (we have been taught to love)," Rahul Gandhi says. "I have only visited Modi ji's office once and that too for the farmers. And when I asked him to help the aggrieved crop growers, but he kept silent," he says.

Jun 6, 2018 2:36 pm (IST)

Taking a jibe at PM Modi's Mann ki Baat, Rahul Gandhi says that we are not hear to keep our views, but to listen to 'aap ke mann ki baat' (hear you out). We want to change the lives of farmers. Soya bean, garlic, tomato, potato and sugarcane, something or the other is grown by Madhya Pradesh farmers. And once Congress government comes to power, we will install food processing unit near every field to facilitate farmers to directly sell their produce. "Shivraj Chouhan won't be able to take een a single penny of your produce," Congress president says, describing his unique "food chain".

Jun 6, 2018 2:34 pm (IST)

"I want that next time when I visit MP, I get to see 'Made in Mandsaur'. I can assure you that Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia can do it, and they will do it. I am not the one to lie to make hollow promises," says Gandhi.

Jun 6, 2018 2:33 pm (IST)

"Have you heard about Mehul Choksi? Do you know what PM Modi calls him? He calls him 'Mehul bhai' and Nirav Modi is 'Nirav bhai' for him. He gave him Rs 30,000 crore. The BJP government could have waived off loans of MP farmers using this amount. Modi had promised that farmers will get their due payment once BJP comes to power, but he betrayed them. Tell me what is the cost of garlic today? PM had also promised to provide employment to two crore youth and said that Rs 15 lakh will be credited in their amount. But now I want to ask the crowd, did anyone of you receive even a single penny from Modi?," Rahul Gandhi says as he attacks the MP government and PM Modi.

Jun 6, 2018 2:24 pm (IST)

"Whether it's Modi government, Shivraj government or any other BJP led-government, they only support big businessmen and not farmers' single penny can be given away. When UPA government was in power, we waived loans of Rs 70,000 crore," he says. "I promise that as soon as Congress government comes to power in Madhya Pradesh, we will waive off loans within 10 days. And people who opened fire on you (farmers), we will initiate strict action against them," Rahul Gandhi says.

Jun 6, 2018 2:22 pm (IST)

"The MP government opened fire on farmers and killed them. In the entire country, farmers are asking for their rights and committing suicide. And families present here are a testimony to it," Rahul Gandhi says, adding that whether it is PM Modi or any BJP government-ruled state, no one is considerate towards farmers.

Jun 6, 2018 2:19 pm (IST)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi says that even after a year of Mandsaur firing, the investigating committee has not submitted the report and the kin of martyred farmers are still waiting for justice.

Jun 6, 2018 2:16 pm (IST)

“Rahul Gandhi's visit to Mandsaur would make BJP's win Madhya Pradesh even easier. People know him well. Congress never bothered about farmers,” says BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Jun 6, 2018 2:11 pm (IST)

"Did Shivraj Singh Chouhan learn anything from last year's Mandsaur's incident? No. Even today, the farmers are not getting adequate payment for their produce and they continue to commit suicide," says senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

Jun 6, 2018 1:54 pm (IST)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is at condolence meet at Piplyamandi in Mandsaur. Farmers had held statewide protests in Madhya Pradesh last year demanding better prices for their crops. The agitation was marred by violence at many parts in the state, especially in Mandsaur, which emerged as the epicentre of protests. MP is slated to go to polls later this year and the Congress is seeking to make this rally big ahead of the assembly election. The grand old party, which has been in political wilderness for the past 15 years, is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in the state. Madhya Pradesh Congress chief spokesperson Manak Agrawal said that around one lakh people were expected to take part in tomorrow's meeting.

Jun 6, 2018 1:26 pm (IST)

Congress MLA Jitu Patwari likens Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan to General Dyer. He alleges that Madhya Pradesh government is stopping aggrieved families from meeting Rahul Gandhi. “It’s not an attempt to mark commencement of campaign for assembly polls but announcement of commitment towards farmers from Rahul Gandhi,” he says.

Jun 6, 2018 1:24 pm (IST)

The Madhya Pradesh administration has vacated the Congress rally venue, and asks organisers to get party workers frisked again before entering the ground.

Jun 6, 2018 1:21 pm (IST)

Surjewala lists questions that people from Mandsaur are "seeking" even after an year has passed since the police firing on farmers in the area.

Jun 6, 2018 1:20 pm (IST)

"No action has been taken against officers while Modi has turned a blind eye towards farmers' plight," senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.

Jun 6, 2018 12:59 pm (IST)

RaGa Arrives in Mandsaur | "If Congress is expressing solidarity with Mandsaur farmers, it should also seek justice for farmers who died in police firing in Multai," says BJP farmers' cell vice president Premnarayan Patel on Rahul Gandhi's Mandsaur visit. Meanwhile, the Congress president has arrived in the city.

Jun 6, 2018 12:46 pm (IST)

Some farmers have arrived in bullock carts at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s rally at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh. Congress workers at the venue, play video of the plight of victims’ families. The video shows pictures of Scindia, followed by Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath.

Jun 6, 2018 12:24 pm (IST)

Parents of Abhishek Patidar, who died during Mandsaur farmers' protest last year, say, "SDM (Sub-Divisional Magistrate) called our other son and asked who among us will meet Rahul Gandhi, when my son told him that my parents are going ,SDM said ask them to not meet the Congress president."

Jun 6, 2018 11:53 am (IST)

After deceased Abhishek Patidar’s cousin alleged that the district administration is stopping him from meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Mandsaur district magistrate O P Srivastava said that Sandeep Patidar has been asked not to meet Gandhi at the “political rally” as he is a “government servant and given an appointment on compassionate grounds”. Meanwhile, there is a buzz that Congress president will not arrive before 3pm. Six people -- Kanhaiya Lal Patidar, Satyanarayan Dhangar, Abhishek Patidar, Bablu, Ghanshyam Dhakad and Chintaman Patidar -- were killed in the police firing at Pipliya Mandi during the agitation on June 6 last year.

Jun 6, 2018 11:45 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | What Happened at the Farmers' Protest in Mandsaur Last Year

Six farmers were killed on June 6 last year when the police opened fire on protesters in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur.

Jun 6, 2018 11:33 am (IST)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to land in Madhya Pradesh at 1 pm. Top leaders, who are scheduled to address the gathering include the Congress president, Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepak Babaria. Gandhi is also expected to visit Pashupatinath temple. He will meet the families of the Mandsaur firing victims at the rally ground.

Jun 6, 2018 11:28 am (IST)

Meanwhile, in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, Governor Acharya Devvrat said that he would coordinate and prepare a framework for making zero-budget natural farming feasible across the country. Zero budget means without using any credit or without spending any money on purchased inputs, while natural farming stands for farming in accordance with nature and without the use of chemical fertilisers.  A government spokesman on Tuesday quoted the Governor as saying that natural farming departments have been set up in agricultural and horticultural universities in the hill state and instructions given to Ph.D students to work with the farmers in the field and share their research work with them. Devvrat said the state government had taken the modality of zero budget natural farming seriously and made a budgetry provision of Rs 25 crore this fiscal. The Governor said Himachal Pradesh was seriously working on the Prime Minister's resolve to double the income of the farmers by 2022.

Jun 6, 2018 11:25 am (IST)

Three days ahead of Mandaur anniversary, the Central government decided to bring out a comprehensive package of more than Rs 8,000 crore to cover up accumulation of cane arrears of more than Rs 20,000 crore. The move seems to be part of government's plan to attract farmers ahead of the 2019 general elections. "The package will include creation of buffer stock of 30 LMT for which the money will be transferred directly to the accounts of the sugarcane farmers. The creation of such a buffer stock will facilitate clearing of cane dues of the farmers and also ensure regular supply of sugar in the market by maintaining the demand and supply balance," a source told IANS. The cost of creation of the buffer stock, including carrying costs and other incidental charges is estimated to be around Rs 1,200 crore, they said.

Jun 6, 2018 11:22 am (IST)

Sandeep Patidar, cousin of Abhishek Patidar who was killed in police firing in Mandsaur last year, claims that the administration is asking him not to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Farmers had held statewide protests in Madhya Pradesh last year demanding better prices for their crops. The agitation was marred by violence at many parts in the state, especially in Mandsaur, which emerged as the epicentre of protests. The Congress sources said that Gandhi would also hold a meeting with senior leaders of Madhya Pradesh Congress. Top Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh including PCC chief Kamal Nath, campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and other state leaders would be in attendance.

Jun 6, 2018 11:14 am (IST)

According to party sources, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who returned from the United States on Monday night, held a meeting with his party leaders and security forces ahead of today's visit to Mandsaur. Gandhi is scheduled to fly to Mandsaur in the afternoon. He would address the "kisan rally" at Khokhra (Pipliya Mandi) in the district. Family members of three out of the six people killed in police firing would share dais with the Congress president. Former Mandsaur MP and Congress leader Meenakshi Natrajan said her party had urged the kin of the deceased to participate in the meeting. Six people -- Kanhaiya Lal Patidar, Satyanarayan Dhangar, Abhishek Patidar, Bablu, Ghanshyam Dhakad and Chintaman Patidar -- were killed in the police firing at Pipliya Mandi during the agitation on June 6 last year.  Family members of Abhishek Patidar told PTI  that Natrajan had requested them to attend the event. "Former MP Natrajan approached me with a request to attend the condolence meeting along with my wife Alka. Since it is a condolence meeting, we will attend it," said Patidar's father Dinesh Patidar.

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