Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called off his fast at Bhopal’s Dussehra Maidan on Sunday. BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had told Chouhan on Saturday that bureaucratic “shortcomings” sometimes come in the way of farmers reaping the benefits of various welfare schemes, was also present at the venue.
Chouhan had been fasting since Saturday for “restoration of peace” after a farmer agitation in Mandsaur turned violent following the death of five protesters in police firing. “We will make the state land use advisory service so that farmers get correct and timely information about climate change. I promise that along with BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will irrigate every land. We have decided to implement every policy with the consent of farmers,” he was quoted as saying by ANI before breaking his fast.
Earlier on Sunday, Chouhan said he thought about the issue of farmers even in sleep. “I slept intermittently and all that while I kept thinking about what all topics – out of the ones we discussed with the farmers – can be worked upon as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “Kisaan khwaabon mein bhi thhe, haqeeqat mein bhi,” he added.
On Saturday, The kin of the deceased met him and asked him to discontinue the fast. “One thing that made me emotional was the number of our children that we lost in these protests. Their parents came to meet me yesterday and despite such grief befalling upon them, asked me to put an end to the issue,” he said.
“We requested the Chief Minister to call off his hunger strike. We don’t think that he is doing any drama. He is genuinely concerned about us. We also asked for stern action against the culprits,” said a deceased farmer’s father.
Chief Minister Chouhan had been criticised for his decision to fast instead of “helping the farmers”. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that his fast was “a drama” “It is a sham…nothing but a pretence. He should answer why a case of murder has not been filed in the death of five farmers in MP,” he said.