Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will undertake an indefinite fast ‘for peace’ from Saturday, in an attempt to restore peace among the farming community of the state.
Chouhan will begin his fast from 11 am at the Dussera Maidan where he will hold an open ‘durbar’ for agitating farmers to meet him.
Chouhan said on Friday, “I am not emotionless, and therefore, I will sit at BHEL’s Dussera ground on Saturday at 11 am. I appeal to the farmers to come forward and discuss all the issues.”
Maintaining that his government would deal with miscreants with an iron fist, Chouhan said his fast is an attempt to ensure peace in the state.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh are demanding better prices for their produce as also a waiver on loan repayments.
The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have locked horns over the farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh, with the former claiming that the latter was behind the chaos and violence in Mandsaur district that claimed six lives.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav attempted to reach Mandsaur earlier this week to commiserate with the agitating farmers, but police prevented their movement into the area.
Rahul Gandhi was even detained by the police under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) before being released on bail after several hours.
He has claimed that the Centre is only firing at the farmers rather than providing them with solace and justice.
Meanwhile, Shivpuri Congress MLA Shakuntala Khatik has been seen on video repeatedly inciting party workers and farmers to burn down a police station in the area, even as she is being requested not to do so.
The video, which has gone viral, may further cement the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allegation that the “Congress is instigating farmers for political gains”.