Mandsaur: Facing a fresh agitation, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday claimed that his government spent a whopping Rs 20,000 crore on farmers’ welfare in the last one year.
Farmers’ organisations have announced a ten-day-long stir in the state and elsewhere from 1 June.
“Rs 20,000 crore have been spent on farmers’ welfare during last one year,” Chouhan told a huge gathering in Mandsaur.
The rally was an apparent attempt to placate farmers and to counter Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s planned visit to Pipliya Mandi near Mandsaur on the first anniversary of death of six farmers in police firing.
Mandsaur in western Madhya Pradesh was the epicentre of last year’s farmers’ agitation.
The Congress government did nothing for farmers, Chouhan said. “When I, as a Member of Parliament, used to go to (then) chief minister Digvijay Singh to seek help for farmers whose crops were damaged, he used to laugh and do nothing for them,” the chief minister alleged.
The opposition party was bent on creating bloodshed in the state, the chief minister said, in apparent reference to Gandhi’s planned visit.
“Congress gave the Garibi Hataao (eradicate poverty) slogan, but did precious little for the poor,” he said.
“On the other hand, the BJP is genuinely working for their uplift. The poor get wheat at just Rs 1 per kg. What had the Congress done in so many years,” he asked.
The BJP government in the state will be providing 40 lakh houses to the poor in the next four years, Chouhan said, adding that there were an estimated 37 lakh homeless people in Madhya Pradesh.
“But we have prepared a plan to give ten lakh houses each year to the poor,” he said.
More than 100 organisations have called for a nationwide protest to press their demands including remunerative prices for farm produce from 1 June.
Police are deploying heavy security in Mandsaur, where protesters are expected to flock to pay homage to the six people who were killed in police firing last June.