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As CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Ends 'Peace Fast', No Sign of Farm Loan Waiver

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s one-day ‘peace fast’ ended on Sunday afternoon with no announcement of farm loan waivers or increase in minimum support price — key demands of protesting farmers.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:June 11, 2017, 4:26 PM IST
As CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Ends 'Peace Fast', No Sign of Farm Loan Waiver
Chouhan had launched his fast on Saturday afternoon in Bhopal’s Dusshera Maidan for “restoration of peace”. (Photo courtesy: Vivek Trivedi)

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday ended his indefinite fast announcing slew of measures to benefit farmers but did not mention farm loan waiver, a prominent farmers’ demand on which the peasants agitated for ten days on the streets of the central Indian state.

Chouhan, before ending his fast at BHEL Dussehra Ground in Bhopal, addressed thousands of farmers announcing battery of measures to benefit them including better procurement prices for farm products, formation of kisan bazaars, formation of State Landuse Advisory Committee, scientific method for milk procurement on the lines of corporate giant AMUL, implementation of Swaminathan Committee recommendations, among others.

“Farmers’ land won’t be acquired without their consent and schemes related to them would be devised in consultation with them,” he said. “I am a servant of farmers and would continue to serve them.”

ALSO READ | Whether by Poison or Bullet, Death is Our Reality, Say Mandsaur Farmers

However, the most contentious issue, farm loan waiver, did not find any mention in the speech.

Chouhan had launched his fast on Saturday afternoon in Bhopal’s Dusshera Maidan for “restoration of peace”.

Without naming Congress leaders, he again claimed that vandalism and violence was not done by farmers but it was the handiwork of evil and devilish elements who won’t be spared by the law.

Soon after, former chief minister Kailash Joshi offered Chouhan coconut water to end his fast.

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh leader Anil Yadav, who was also on the stage, announced the withdrawal of strike and thanked CM Chouhan for accepting their demands. He also claimed that BKS won’t take part in stir proposed in New Delhi.

Interestingly, BKS officebearers after meeting with the CM in Ujjain had distanced themselves from the farmers’ stir on June 2, seond day of the ten-day agitation in Madhya Pradesh, announced by Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh and others.

Meanwhile, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya was also present on Sunday’s function to refute reports of rift between him and CM Chouhan.

ALSO READ | As Chouhan Fasts to Pacify Farmers, His Agri Minister Rules Out Loan Waiver

Rau MLA Jitu Patwari, who was instrumental in anchoring farmers’ agitation in Malwa region, on Sunday accepted before newsmen that he was actively supporting the agitation but did not ‘led’ the agitation which was anchored by young farmers.

He blamed state government’s act of deflating the agitation through BKS call of ending strike which according to him spurred violence especially after Mandsaur incident.

He also pulled up CM Shivraj and Home minister Bhupendra Singh for contradictory statements after Mandsaur firing. “The state government purportedly circulated videos of me and other Congress leaders and twisted facts,” Patwari, who had accompanied Congress vice president on bike till Neemuch, said.

He also alleged that bureaucracy allured the kin of those killed in Mandsaur, brought them to Bhopal and made them request CM Chouhan to end his fast.

“I would start a state-wide kisan padyatra shortly for farmers’ awakening if farmers’ demands are not met soon,” Patwari announced.

The Congress has dubbed the fast as a “nautanki (drama)” with party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia set to launch a 72-hour ‘satyagraha’ for farmers’ rights from June 14.

ALSO READ | Shiv Sena, Congress Slam Shivraj Singh Chouhan Over Fast 'Drama'

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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