Chouhan announces fast, invites agitating farmers for talks

Chouhan announces fast, invites agitating farmers for talks

Chouhan announces fast, invites agitating farmers for talks

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the farmers' agitation has turned "anarchic", and announced that he will sit on an indefinite fast for restoration of peace.

"I will sit on indefinite fast from 11 am tomorrow at Dussehra Maidan for restoration of peace," a visibly upset Chouhan said at a hurriedly convened press conference at his official residence this evening.

"I will be available at the Dussehra Maidan. I welcome all farmers to come there for resolving the impasse peacefully through an amicable dialogue with me. I won't sit in my office at Mantralaya (secretariat)...(but sit at) Dussehra Maiden and do all work from there," he added.

However, he categorically said that all unruly elements would be dealt with strictly.

"I am deeply saddened that stones are being placed in the hands of young people aged 18, 21 and 22 by some persons during attempts to stage road blockades. It is painful that these young people are our own and the elements leading them are also our own," he said.

"I appeal to the people, farmers to come to the negotiating table," he said, adding people's safety is my 'Rajdharma' and I am not flint-hearted.

The CM said that the agitation has gone "anarchic" and anyone trying to ignite the flames of violence would not be spared. He said he was pained by the violence.

"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.

He said that whenever farmers were in distress due to loss of crops following a natural calamity, he had rushed to them and comforted and helped them.

The state government has started buying onion for Rs 8 per kg from the farmers, while Moong and Urad pulses too will be bought at Minimum Support Price (MSP), the CM said.

A commission will be set up to work out the cost of production of farm produce and a Rs 1,000 crore fund will be created to help farmers when prices crash, the CM reiterated.

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