Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

How Rahul rode and walked to Mandsaur


"Hashtagging his fasting campaign with the slogan "#Shivraj4Peace" on Twitter, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Saturday that he's begun his fast, and added that he will "continue to fast until normalcy is restored" in the tense state.

Prompted by the Yogi Adityanath government's Rs 36,359 crore loan waiver package for Uttar Pradesh, farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been demanding a complete loan waiver besides a minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

He demanded Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation and also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "keeping mum" on the issue.

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The farmers, who come from various districts, call themselves a "maha kisaan gatbandhan" and are asking for a loan waiver. It then promised to pay 10 million rupees' compensation to the families of the dead farmers and hold an investigation into the incident.

The Congress Party on Friday condemned Thursday's detention of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh, dubbing the whole incident as undemocratic.

The Chief Minister has called for indefinite hunger strike to restore peace among the farming community of the state. The drought-ravaged region also recorded a farm suicide every five hours in 2016-17. The first clashes between farmers and police occurred on June 4 in the Sehore, Indore and Bhopal districts.

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AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said yesterday that it was insulting and unfortunate that the BJP-led NDA government was in denial mode over the firing and accused it of spreading rumours and canards over who fuelled the farmers' protest. I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state. Five farmers were killed in police firing on Tuesday as the agitation turned violent. While his actions earned him appreciation from the Congress with party leaders saying that whatever Rahul did had tremendous "media value", the BJP brushed it off as "a publicity stunt".

Pipliamandi Town Inspector, Anil Singh Thakur, who had allegedly fired at the farmers, has now been removed from field duty, according to reports.

The official claimed all the deceased farmers belonged to the Patidar community. "I appeal to the farmers to join hands to work for the state's development", the MP chief minister said.

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If all this uncertainty weren't enough, the Labour Party, which won 261 seats in the election, has its own divisions to deal with. A Nottingham political expert has called Theresa May's political campaign the "most disastrous by a party leader since 1983". .


Nearly 70% of India's population of 1.3 billion live in rural areas, according to India's census, but agriculture accounts for just 15 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

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