A new Patidar agitation in Madhya Pradesh as farmers’ union threatens to take stir nationwide

The chief of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Shivnarayan Sharma ‘Kakkaji’, will be in New Delhi on
Thursday to chalk out a strategy with other farmers’ outfits for a national movement.

Published: 08th June 2017 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2017 02:23 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only. (File photo)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: The killing of five agitating farmers at Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday is likely to trigger a national movement.

The chief of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Shivnarayan Sharma ‘Kakkaji’, will be in New Delhi on
Thursday to chalk out a strategy with other farmers’ outfits for a national movement.

“The movement against injustice to farmers will no longer remain confined to MP,” Sharma said, speaking to the media on Wednesday. “The killing of farmers by police in Mandsaur will be protested across the country. Agitations have already started in parts of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan as well,” he claimed.

Blaming MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan squarely for the violence and the killing of the farmers, Sharma claimed not five but eight farmers to have been killed by Chouhan’s police. “Our
movement will now also focus on imposition of presidential rule in MP,” he added.

Sharma’s close aide and Patidar community leader Trilok Nath Gothi said most of the farmers killed in Tuesday’s “police firing" hail from the community. AK-47 rifles have been used to kill the farmers and it's well known who can use these automatic rifles in MP, said Gothi, even as the State government and the police remained silent over whose bullets killed the farmers and their post mortem reports.

The powerful Patidar community, which is already at war with the BJP in Gujarat, played a key role in the saffron party sweeping the 15 districts of west MP in the 2013 State assembly polls and the
2014 Lok Sabha polls.

With the local body polls round the corner, the ruling BJP could be at the receiving ends of the Patidars who are facing violence over the last 48 hours.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress party leaders, including state party president Arun Yadav, leader of opposition in state assembly Ajay Singh ‘Rahul,’ Rau (Indore) MLA Jeetu Patwari and former
Mandsaur MP Meenakshi Natrajan, were stopped at different points on the Mandsaur border, when they were trying to enter to meet the bereaved families and attend the funerals of the five farmers in the violence-hit west MP district.

According to key party sources, senior Congress leaders led by party national vice president Rahul Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara (MP) Kamal Nath, party national general secretary Digvijaya Singh and national general secretary in-charge for MP Mohan Prakash will reach Neemuch and Mandsaur on Thursday, Prakash informed Express.

The Congress leaders, likely to be accompanied by JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, will fly from Delhi to Udaipur in the morning. From Udaipur, they will reach Neemuch and Mandsaur in MP by road.

MP govt announces slew of measures to placate agitating farmers

Jolted by the killing of five farmers in firing on Tuesday and the violence thereafter, besides the apprehension of paying a massive political price for it, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in MP
finally woke up to the demands of the agitating farmers on Wednesday.

Chouhan chaired a meeting of top ministers, where a slew of decisions were taken. Detailing the decisions of the ‘Krishi Cabinet,’ MP's Minister for Women and Child Development Archana Chitnis said the State government has decided to constitute an MP Krishi Lagat Viparan Aayog (MP State Agricultural Cost Marketing Commission), which will determine the per-hectare production cost of every crop. This would ensure that farmers get the right price for their produce in the market, she said.

The cabinet also put its seal on the proposal to establish a Rs 1,000 crore corpus Agriculture Price Stabilisation Fund, besides giving a go-ahead for the Krishi Rin Samadhan Yojana (Agriculture Loan
Settlement Scheme). Stopping short of saying the scheme would entail waiver of farmers' loans (one of the two demands of the agitating farmers'), the minister said the modalities of this scheme would be finalised in a day or two.

The government also decided to do away with the conventional practice of agricultural produce mandis, paying farmers for their produce by cheques, and instead cleared a system of making payments to
farmers, 50 per cent in cash and 50 per cent via RTGS.

Further, the government decided to do away with the practice of disbursing loans to farmers separately for kharif and rabi crops and cleared the proposal to disburse loans annually. Also, the government
decided to purchase pulses, including tur, urad and moong, from farmers at minimum support price, starting from June 30.

Also, the Krishi Cabinet cleared the decks for launching of a mobile phone-operated app, which would keep farmers up to date with requirements of the market and help them accordingly to plan their
cultivation.

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