BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore each for the next of kin of five farmers who were killed during alleged police firing in Mandsaur district.
The BJP government, apparently rattled by the deaths of farmers yesterday, has also promised government jobs to family members of the deceased. Speaking to a news channel late last night, Chouhan also said that financial help of Rs 5 lakh each would be given to six persons who were injured in the violent protests in Mandsaur district.
However, former leader of BJP's Kisan Morcha and Patidar community leader, Neemuch-based Prem Patidar, said the compensation of Rs 1 crore was an eyewash. "We have lost young people of our community in firing and we are ready to pay Rs 2 crore each for punishing the guilty policemen," he told PTI.
State officials said that Rs 1 crore is an unprecedented amount of compensation. But it didn't seem to have mollified the farmers, with widespread violence being reported from western Madhya Pradesh today where the agitation has been going on since June 1. "With the firing incident, Chouhan's so-called image as Kisan-Putra (farmer's son) has taken a severe knocking. I had been saying that massive corruption plagues the farm sector under his rule.
Now my stand is vindicated," Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh's national president Shivkumar Sharma alleged. "It is a pent-up anger of farmers which is spilling onto roads against Chouhan," he told PTI. "There is no electricity in rural areas, so farmers are using diesel-run pumps to irrigate fields.
They are forced to buy fertilisers in black market," alleged Sharma, a former leader of RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Kisan Sangh. "Due to these factors, cost of production for farmers has skyrocketed. Now farmers are protesting for better prices for their produce," he claimed. He also dismissed the bumper agricultural production in the state.
MP has won the Centre's 'Krishi Karman' award for five consecutive years, but Sharma said it was "managed". "A coterie of corrupt officers around Chouhan was running the affairs and painting a rosy picture with fudged data," he alleged. "The state's debt was Rs 22,000 crore when Chouhan took over the reins 10 years ago. Now it is Rs 1.65 lakh crore," he claimed.