Congress' leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said, "After eight days of farmers' agitation when police have opened fire on protestors and some persons have been killed, I still do not understand why the chief minister is sitting in a tent in the state capital".
The Chief Minister also said that he "will fast to bring peace" in the state and asked farmers to maintain calm and come forward for talks.
In Naya Gaon, about 70 km from Mandsaur, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by senior Congress leaders and the JD (U) s Sharad Yadav, was detained by the police when the opposition leaders tried to make their way from the Rajasthan border to Mandsaur, the ground zero of the farmer protests. I genuinely want to resolve problems of the people.
On demands for increase in prices of farm produce, he said it is because of the state government's policies that production has seen a record jump due to which prices have fallen down. Last month, Modi declared his government would double farmers' income over the next five years. Chief Minister Chouhan said that he would even sacrifice his life for the welfare of farmers.
Earlier in the day, Chouhan said that despite falling asleep "intermittently", the farmers and their issues made a constant thorough in his dreams and thoughts and hence, vowed to solve the pertinent matters. Congress also dubbed Chouhan's fast as mere nautanki (drama).
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He attacked the Modi government, saying it has forgotten the farmers and was only interested in waiving the debt of "50 richest people" of the country.
"Who is this indefinite fast against? the public or his own government?" In his address, Chouhan said, "It is okay to protest if the government doesn't listen".
While Chouhan, who has invited the protesters for dialogue, met various people through the day, a farmers delegation was dismayed when he turned down their demand of a loan waiver and began a protest opposite him. "How come the Congress did not find time to shed tears for farmers then?" he told Mumbai Mirror. "So the state can not move ahead without the farmers". "We will get them the right price", the chief minister said.
"Congress is behind the violence during the farmers' stir", he alleged. India often confronts such situation as Farming, the prime occupation of Indian is no more a sustainable job.
The police, faced with what they say is a veritable barrage of fake news, rumours and unconfirmed reports, have suspended internet services in five districts - Mandsaur, Ujjain, Ratlam, Neemuch and Dhar. At least 156 people have been arrested and almost 40 cases have been registered in association with the violence during the farmers' agitation in the state.