New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi left for Madhya Pradesh's violence-hit Mandsaur district on Thursday morning to meet the families of the five people who were killed in violence during the farmers' agitation.
"Our leader wants to meet the family members of the deceased and comfort them," Congress MLA Jaivardhan Singh, son of senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, said. "The entire Congress is with Madhya Pradesh's farmers in distress. The BJP-led state government should wake up from its slumber and help the farmers in need," he said.
Gandhi will be accompanied by senior party leader and former Union minister Kamal Nath.
Five people were killed on Tuesday as the farmers' agitation turned violent in Mandsaur, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area.
The BJP has alleged a "conspiracy" behind the ongoing agitation and has asked Rahul Gandhi to refrain from "politicising the death of farmers".
"Farmers of Madhya Pradesh are peace-loving. They do not indulge in violent activities. There is a conspiracy behind this entire incident. Those who do not want peace and prosperity in the state and cannot see the BJP government functioning smoothly are behind this incident," Rural Development Minister Narender Singh Tomar said.
Tomar, who represents Gwalior seat in Lok Sabha, said farmers in Madhya Pradesh are the most prosperous in the country.
Replying to a question on Rahul Gandhi's scheduled visit to the protest site, the minister said he should not "politicise" the death of farmers.
He also said that Gandhi and his party were responsible for the poor condition of farmers in the country.
Union minister Venkaiah Naidu also hit out at the Congress for "hijacking" the protest in Mandsaur. "It is a very sad turn of events in a state that is the most peaceful in India. The Congress is trying to politicise farmers' problems after they failed to counter Shivraj Singh Chouhan politically in the state," he said.
Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh have been protesting since June 1 over various demands. The protesters have been demanding higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their produce and loan waiver among other things.
(With PTI inputs)