BHOPAL: Chief minister is going for a two-pronged approach to tackle the farmers’ agitation that entered its fifth day — crack down hard on troublemakers while giving quick relief to farmers.
“I believe what could have been done for the farmers has been done by the government. Officials are aware of the situation and farmers have assured to postpone their agitation,” said Chouhan on Monday, adding that he met members of farmers’ union in Ratlam and they have promised to withdraw the stir. Principal secretary to the CM, S K Mishra, said that the secretariat issued an order by evening to reassure farmers that “all their demands have been accepted”.
The government has taken a tough stand by registering cases against Rajesh Purohit, district president of Kisan Union, and 521 others. Instructions have been issued to round up those “misguiding farmers and provoking them” to continue with the agitation, sources in Mantralay said.
With the farmers’ protest quickly taking on political colours, the CM called an emergency meeting at his residence on Monday to discuss law and order and what action to take against protesters who are disrupting supply of milk and vegetables. “We will deal firmly with those who are responsible for violent protests in the state. In Ratlam, some Congress workers, backed by local panchayat leader D P Dhakad, have been detained for instigating violence. For them, law will take its course,” Chouhan told reporters after the meeting.
The CM said some anti-social elements were trying to disrupt the farmers’ protest to malign their image and inconvenience people in urban areas. “We have accepted most of the demands of the farmers and opened three centres in Indore, Mandsaur and Ujjain to procure onion at Rs 8 per kg. But certain anti-social elements are instigating farmers to resort to violence and thereby defame the Kisan Sangh,” Chouhan said.
The government will form a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to purchase farm produce during exigencies and help poor farmers, he said, adding that the state will buy not only onion but pulses, moong and tuar at minimum support price as market prices has slumped.
“Market price of moong dal has gone down to Rs 5,050 per quintal but the government will buy it at Rs 5,225 per quintal. The market price of tuar dal has decreased considerably to Rs 4,036 per quintal which is much less than its procurement price. The government takes credit for bumper production of pulses but we have decided to make farmers aware of crop selection in view of the storage crisis,” said Chouhan.
Taking a note of the violence in the western region of the state, the CM said that instructions have been issued to deal firmly with anti-socials and not register police cases against genuine farmers. Home minister Bhupendra Singh attended the meeting along with officials of home and agriculture departments.