Won't call off fast unless peace returns in MP: Shivraj Chouhan

| Updated: Jun 10, 2017 23:26 IST

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], June 10 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who began his indefinite hunger strike today, asserted that he would not let the state engulf in violence and would ensure that peace returns. "I discussed many problems and its solution. There are some issues which have already been addressed and there are some on which we have to take a decision. We are considering every issue seriously whether it is small or big. We will think about it and discuss it and thereafter, we will definitely take a decision in the interest of farmers," Chouhan said. While appealing to the farmers to come forward and discuss all the issues, the Chief Minister further said he would not call off his hunger strike unless there is peace in the state. "My fast will continue till there is peace in the entire state. Madhya Pradesh is a temple to me and its people are my God. People's pain is my pain," he added. Claiming that the majority of the population in Madhya Pradesh is dependent on farming, Chouhan earlier in the day said that the state cannot progress without farmers. "More than 65 percent of our population is dependent on farming. So the state cannot move ahead without the farmers," he said. Highlighting his various schemes for the farmers, Chouhan further said, "Whenever, there has been a crisis, I did not sit in my office and visited the farmers myself." Earlier in the day, Chouhan began his 'peace fast' for the solidarity of the state at the Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal where he has invited agitating farmers for talks. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh are demanding better prices for their produce as also a waiver on loan repayments. Reacting to Chouhan's indefinite fast, the Congress party earlier in the day accused the latter of doing political drama to gain the people's sympathy. "I do not understand that instead of maintaining law and order which was their responsibility, they fired on farmers. The Chief Minister is doing these kinds of gimmicks to gain the people's sympathy," a state Congress leader Jeetu Patwari told ANI. On the other hand, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)and the opposition Congress have locked horns over the farmers' agitation in Madhya Pradesh, with the former claiming that the latter was behind the chaos and violence in Mandsaur district that claimed six lives. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav attempted to reach Mandsaur earlier this week to commiserate with the agitating farmers, but police prevented their movement into the area. Rahul Gandhi was even detained by the police under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) before being released on bail after several hours. He has claimed that the Centre is only firing at the farmers rather than providing them with solace and justice. Meanwhile, Shivpuri Congress MLA Shakuntala Khatik has been seen on video repeatedly inciting party workers and farmers to burn down a police station in the area, even as she is being requested not to do so. 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."(ANI)