BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan’s written reply to a Congress MLA’s question in the Vidhan Sabha on Monday, about cases registered against farmers during the June 2017 agrarian unrest in Mandsaur district has sparked a political row in the state.
Congress MLA from Mandsaur seat Hardeep Singh Dang had raised a query in the House about a number of farmers or other persons who were booked by the police during the June 2017 agrarian stir in Mandsaur owing to political reasons, while the BJP regime was in power in the state.
In a written reply to fellow party legislator, the home minister Bala Bachchan said “the cases were registered under due process of law. For withdrawing the cases, fresh directions have been issued as part of which process is underway.”
Reacting to the development, state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said the home minister’s written reply to his own party MLA on the floor of the State Assembly about the cases having been registered under due process of law, has punctured the Congress allegations of the past that farmers were booked under false cases due to political reasons during the June 2017 farmer’s stir.
Importantly, in February 2019, the same home minister had come under fire from his own party leaders, including ex-CM Digvijaya Singh over his reply in the Vidhan Sabha’s budget session to a question by Congress MLA Harsh Gehlot pertaining to June 6, 2017 police firing that killed five farmers in Mandsaur district.
In the February 2019 budget session of MP State Assembly, the written reply by Bachchan given to the questions raised by Congress MLA Harsh Gehlot (Sailana) about action taken in the matter pertaining to the killing of five farmers in the June 6, 2017 in Mandsaur district, had seemed to be a U-turn of sorts by the Congress government in the matter.
In his written reply, the home minister had stated, “On June 6, 2017, the police firing at the Bahi Chowpati on the Mhow-Neemuch in absence of an executive magistrate was in pursuance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for self-defence and protecting private property. Also, the subsequent police firing near Pipliyamandi police station the same day to control violent mob too was for self-defence and protecting private property following order from SDM (Malhargarh) Shrawan Bhandari as part of related legal process.”