CM Chouhan, Wife Sadhna Begin 'Peace Fast' at Dussehra Maidan

Chouhan said the Government had extended Rs4,800 crore as relief amount to farmers when their soyabean crop was destroyed previous year.

Mandsaur Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh had informed the curfew has been lifted from all the three police station areas of the Mandsaur city where it was imposed.

The UP BJP government's decision to write off farm loans to fulfill its poll promise has prompted the community in other BJP ruled states to make similar demands which are hard for regimes to deliver owing to severe burden on the exchequre. All entry and exit points to Mandsaur were sealed. While initially the farmers destroyed produce and drained milk, the protests became more violent as vehicles were torched. "If the situation remains normal, curfew will be withdrawn tomorrow", he said. The week-long build-up to that fast, however, brought him nationwide publicity.

Amit Kar, head of agricultural economics department at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Delhi, told this newspaper: "The price of sowing has increased, while the land holdings of farmers have reduced drastically due to expansion in the family".

Farmers also gathered at the Sehore toll plaza on the highway and erected barricades and stopped the traffic, causing a severe jam and inconvenience to hundreds of commuters. "He has never considered visiting the families of the dead farmers in Mandsaur and also the houses of the 25 persons who died in a blast at a fireworks factory". The crisis began after at least five farmers had lost their lives in a clash with the police in Mandsaur. The violence then spread to the districts of Neemuch, Indore, Khargone, Ujjain, Sehore, Raisen and Harda.

He also said the Modi government has launched a number of schemes for the betterment of farmers thereby boosting their income. A judicial inquiry has been ordered.

However, Chouhan called off his intended indefinite fast within minutes of starting it following an assurance given to him by the prime minister. He also owed Rs 500,000 to a local moneylender.

Chouhan will begin his fast from 11 a.m.at the Dussera Maidan where he will hold an open "durbar" for agitating farmers to meet him. It bolstered his image as a pro-farmer chief minister even though he had done little to assuage the woes of farmers.

It will come to fore that the current agriculture growth rates in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are way better than what it was during the Congress' rule, Shah said. "How one can expect farmers to remain calm in such situation?"

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