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CM Shivraj Chouhan 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.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:June 9, 2017, 6:26 PM IST
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CM Shivraj Chouhan to Observe Fast, Invites Farmers For Talks
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chohan held apress conference on Friday, inviting protesting farmers for talks. (CNN-News18 Photo)
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Bhopal: 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".

On the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, Chouhan said that "anti-social elements will be dealt with strictly". "We will not entertain any compromise on law and order," he said, adding that he invites all the farmers to come for a discussion.

Elaborating MP government’s pro-agriculture policies, Chouhan claimed that it was because of these friendly policies that the state was seeing a bumper production. He reiterated that state government would procure tuar at Rs 5050 per quintal and moong at Rs 5225 per quintal.

He said they have acceded farmers' another demand of simultaneous loans for Rabi and Ravi crops. He also discussed loan settlement scheme, better prices for farm produce, onion procurement, the formation of agri-marketing Commission and others.

“There is nothing in a democracy which can’t be resolved through dialogue,” he said.

The Congress said Chouhan’s comments were too late and he should resign claiming responsibility for the situation. “The Chief Minister broke his silence after a week of violence. He should resign to maintain law and order in the state,” said Congress leader JP Dhanopiya.

Shiv Kumar Sharma, nicknamed Kakkaji, the angry farmer leader who has been railing against the government said: "We have been watching this kind of drama for the past 11 years. However, we will appreciate if he is able to solve the problem. We welcome the move."

In an interview to CNN-News18, Kakkaji had alleged that the current crisis was orchestrated by the police so as to attack the farmers. "The police and their aides hatched the plot and even went to the extent of setting vehicles ablaze."

On Friday, another farmer, Ghyanshyam Dhakar, died in Madhya Pradesh on Friday after succumbing to injuries from a police lathicharge. The farmer hails from Mandsaur, where six farmers have already died in police firing.

On Thursday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was prevented from entering Mandsaur. He travelled by air, by car, by motorcyle and by foot from Delhi to Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh via Rajasthan before he was detained and arrested in Naya Gaon, about 70 km from Mandsaur. He was released later in the day.

Rahul slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the problems being faced by the farmers, evoking a sharp response from the BJP which termed his visit to Mandsaur as a “photo opportunity”.

Later in the evening, Gandhi met the kin of four of the five deceased farmers who were brought to Rajathan's Chittorgarh district by Congress workers.

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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