Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Farmers cannot be given loan waivers, says MP Agriculture Minister

A gunman stands guard at a water reservoir in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to sit on fast, speak to farmers to ensure peace
Erik Tate | 11 June, 2017, 10:25

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan began his indefinite fast for restoration of peace on Saturday, amid the ongoing farmers' agitation in the state, where the group has called for immediate "action" from the government.

Former chief minister Harish Rawat and his supporters today staged a sit-in against the killing of five farmers in police firing in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district.

He added that his fast will continue till there will be peace in the entire state.

In Naya Gaon, about 70 kms from Mandsaur, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by senior Congress leaders and the JD (U)'s Sharad Yadav, was detained by the police when he tried to reach Mandsaur to address the farmers. "But I am here to hold discussions with all of you".

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Cheap imports by the government is also a major concern of farmer unions as they feel this will discourage the local market and domestic purchase of farm products. Last month, Modi declared his government would double farmers' income over the next five years.

Claiming that the majority of the population in Madhya Pradesh was dependent on farming, Chouhan said that the state can not progress without farmers. "Now this movement will go from Madhya Pradesh and spread across the whole country, this will become a people's movement". Chouhan said that State's pro-farmers' policies have led to rise in agricultural production. On Tuesday, police had to resort to firing when the protesters turned violent and damaged property and set vehicles on fire. Would the government reply why farmers are not getting actual price for their crops. He was later granted bail after which he met the family members of the deceased farmers and interacted with them. "Chouhan should sit indefinitely on the fast till the farmers' woes are mitigated, or else we will launch an indefinite fast in support of the farmers". All efforts will be made to ensure that farmers get beneficial price. He said, "farmers' problem is ours". We can not understand how a chief minister did not have the information of such a massive protest brewing.

The video, which has gone viral, may further cement the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) allegation that the " Congress is instigating farmers for political gain".

The death toll in the ongoing crisis rose to six yesterday, when a 32-year-old farmer, Ghanshyam Dhakad, who was brought by police from Bhaugarh (Mandsaur) to Indore's MY Hospital on Thursday late night, died. Normalcy has returned in most of the farmer's agitation affected areas in the state barring some isolated incidents. "I appeal to the farmers to join hands to work for the state's development", the MP chief minister said.

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