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Chouhan sits on fast, Fadnavis calls meet as farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra continue stir

Saturday June 10, 2017 8:47 PM, & Agencies

Farmers' Stir

Even as protesting farmers both in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra do not show any sign of relenting, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sat on "indifinte fast" and Maharshtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have called them for talks on Sunday.

Fadnavis, who had earlier accused the Congress and NCP of igniting the farmers' stir for political gains and refused to talks, relented after protesting farmers gave a deadline till June 12 for the government to meet their demand.

They will intensify their stir and may even resort to rail block, the farmers had said on Thursday.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the other hand sat on an indefinite fast at Dussehra Maidan here today - a move according him aimed at "restoration of peace".

Congress however ridiculed Chouhan dubbing his fast a drama.

"Chouhan should tell people whether his fast is a "nautanki" (drama), an event or an act of repentance for his misdeeds that "set the state on fire", State Congress' chief spokesperson K K Mishra said.

"Though he is trying to send a message that he is resorting to Gandhi-giri, it is absolutely not so", he added.

Meanwhile, Mandsaur SP Manoj Kumar Singh said that curfew has been lifted from three police station areas of Mandsaur city but prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 remains in force.

Farmers intensified their protest after five of them were killed in police firing near Mandsaur.

The state government was initially reluctant to accept that the shots were fired by the police. MP Home Minister even claimed that the firing was an act by anti social elements. Two days later however admitted that the farmers were killed by police firing.

In another related incident, Youth Congress activists in Odisha on Saturday hurled eggs at Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh's vehicle and waved black flags near the state guest house in protest against the death of five farmers in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district.

"Radha Mohan Singh has no moral right to remain in-charge of agriculture ministry after the killing of farmers in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh," said Maharathy before he was taken into custody.

The BJP leadership is said to be divided on accepting the farmers' key demand of loan waiver.

According to some reports, a section of the BJP believes that the farmers' agitation is part of a grand strategy of the Opposition as it was planned at a time when farmers across the country don't generally work on their farms and are not engaged in agricultural activities.

Hence, they say, there should not be excessive focus on the farmers at this point of time, the party faction believes.

However, the BJP leadership believes that Mandsaur firing can become a serious issue in the country in days to come. It is of the view that the respective state governments, like in Uttar Pradesh, should immediately to take a call on farmers demands.


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