Condemning the violence in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh where farmers are protesting over loan waiver and better price for their produce, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said, “the Centre will not take any step that will break the faith of farmers and the common man”. He further said, “Jankari mili ki kuch takten jinhone instigate karne ki koshish kari,puri jaanch ho rahi hai,report ki prateeksha karni chahiye (there is information that some people were involved in instigating violence in Mandsaur. Investigation report is awaited).”
Singh was in the city to hold a dialogue on the completion of three years of the Narendra Modi government.
He said that one thing must be clear to the people of this country that the BJP-led government at the Centre or state are completely sensitive towards farmer issues. My appeal to the farmers would be to come forward and talk to their respective chief ministers.”
He further said, “I am a son of a farmer and I have served as Union agriculture minister as well. No prime minister in the past has assured of doubling the income of farmers by 2022, like Narendra Modi has.”
Saying that Congress is responsible for the plight of farmers in the country, the Home Minister commented on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi joining the agitation, and said, “The Congress should not forget that they were in power for so long but have not done enough to increase the farmers’ income.”
Meanwhile, hitting out at “some anti-social elements” for trying to bring instability in the state, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reiterated that the government is ready to resolve the farmers’ issues through talks. “Anti-social elements trying to bring instability will be strictly dealt with,” he said.
Widespread violence, including several incidents of arson, have been reported from western Madhya Pradesh, especially in Mandsaur and Dewas districts, during the week-long farmers’ agitation in the state. Meanwhile, contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were on Thursday deployed in Mandsaur which has been on the boil since the past two days. According to police, two companies of RAF, comprising around 100 men each, have moved into Pipliamandi in Mandsaur, where five farmers were killed.
Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh police arrested Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi under section 151 of the CrPC (preventive arrest) while he was travelling to violence-hit Mandsaur. Rahul said he wanted to meet the families of the five farmers killed by police firing on Tuesday.