Shivraj Chouhan calls off fast
With no fresh case of violence, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh today called off his fast for farmers, a day after he began the exercise, and declared that peace has returned to the state.
Chouhan, who faced heat over the violent farmer unrest in MP, broke his fast with a glass of coconut water offered by former state chief minister Kailash Joshi.
Before breaking his fast, the chief minister said, "Peace has been restored in MP and no case of violence has been reported yesterday and today."
He said that those involved in the death of five farmers in Mandsaur will be punished severely.
"I will not end my fast till peace is restored in the state," Chouhan had said last evening after the protest by farmers was marred by violence in the state.
The CM, reaching out to cultivators, also met 15 delegations of small farmers and 236 panels of big farmers yesterday. The delegations pressed for loan waiver and "satisfactory" prices for their produce.
BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan had claimed that the family members of those killed in police firing at Mandsaur on Tuesday have requested the CM to call off his fast.
Kin of four out of the five persons killed in police firing on Tuesday at Mandsaur--the epicentre of the farmers' stir--had met Chouhan here yesterday.
They had come down from Mandsaur seeking justice for the deceased.
Chouhan had launched his indefinite fast for "peace restoration" yesterday at the BHEL Dussehra Maidan here amid violent farmer protests in western MP, especially in Dewas and Mandsaur districts over the last ten days.
A day ahead of launching his fast, Chouhan, whose government had came under fire over the peasant deaths, had said that the agitation had turned "anarchic", and had appealed to farmers to come to Dussehra Maidan and have a dialogue with him.
"I won't sit in my office at Mantralaya (secretariat)...but sit at Dussehra Maidan and do all (official) work from there," Chouhan had said.