Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Shivraj Singh Chouhan Begins Indefinite Fast in Bhopal for 'Peace'

Shivraj Singh Chouhan Begins Indefinite Fast in Bhopal for 'Peace'

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday ended his "peace fast" in which his wife Sadhna gave him company, by taking a glass of coconut water from veteran saffron leader Kailash Joshi. "Your labour won't go waste", he said, "I know of the bumper crop production that sent the prices crashing". The agriculture department is not at all effective in bringing up any co-ordination. The curfew will remain in Pipliamandi police station area which is 15 km from Mandsaur district headquarters and where five farmers were killed in separate police firings during the agitation.

Before ending his 28-hour-long fast, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh today announced a series of measures for farmers, including declaring purchase of farm produce below the minimum support a criminal act.

Reaching Dussehra Maidan this morning, Chouhan addressed his Cabinet and other leaders and also held a discussion with them before beginning the agitation. At present Rajagopal PV is leading farmer convention at Jharkhand.

The Chief Minister said his government had already implemented numerous M.S. Swaminathan Committee recommendations.

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The Mandsaur Krishi Upaj Mandi, spread over 30 hectares of land on the outskirts of the town, saw a sharp dip in the arrival of farm produce on June 1, when the farmers' stir, demanding better price for their produce and a loan waiver, began in the state. Due to the firing, 5 farmers were killed.

"As the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for eleven-and- a-half years, my priority has been state's development and farmers' welfare", Chouhan said.

Earlier in the day, Chouhan, who began his indefinite hunger strike, asserted that he would not let the state engulf in violence and would ensure that peace returns.

Financial experts have urged caution over farm loan waivers, warning that it will weaken finances of states. He should go to the farmers and ask them personally what do they all need.

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The chief minister said that 65 per cent of the population is dependent on farming and the state can not progress without farmers.

Earlier on Saturday, the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh - a collective of 62 farmers' unions - said farmers across the country will block national highways between 12pm and 3pm on June 16 to protest the Centre's "anti-farmer policies".

The opposition Congress dubbed it as "drama".

"After all, against whom has he started his fast at Dussehra Maidan?"

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