The 10-day farmers stir in Madhya Pradesh demanding remunerative prices for farm produce and waiver of agricultural loans ended on Sunday.
Shiv Kumar Sharma, chief of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, which spearheaded the stir, called the agitation a success and alleged that the entire state machinery, including police, was ensuring that fresh farm produce was being made available to citizens.
The ruling BJP, meanwhile, termed the agitation a failure with a party spokesperson claiming that farmers did not participate in it despite being instigated to do so.
“I will thank the BJP and the administration that they did not activate anti-social elements to spoil our peaceful agitation. We had only given a call of gaon bandh (village shutdown),” Sharma told PTI on Sunday.
He added that last year’s agitation turned in the “wrong direction” because of the lack of leadership and farmers were left facing 7,000 police cases.
Six protesting farmers were also killed in police firing in Mandsaur on June 6 last year.
“It was our strategy to limit the farmers to the villages as they are facing about 7,000 police cases which were registered during last year’s agitation. Last year’s agitation turned in the wrong direction without a leader,” he said. Sharma added that he would be going on a statewide yatra in August to highlight farm woes.
The 10-day village shutdown stir, according to police officials, was largely peaceful except stray incidents of protesting farmers throwing vegetables and pouring milk on the streets. Terming the agitation a failure, state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said, “Farmers did not participate in this agitation despite being instigating by so-called organisations.”
“The farmers have faith in Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP due to the welfare schemes introduced by the state government,” he added.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also visited Mandsaur on June 6, on the first anniversary of the farmers’ deaths in police firing, and announced a farm loan waiver if his party came to power in Madhya Pradesh.