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Agitating farmers lay siege of Bhopal, jolt MP’s BJP Govt.

Tuesday December 21, 2010 03:40:57 PM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: Bhopal, the capital city of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is under unprecedented siege since very early Monday morning giving jitters to Bharatiya Janata Party ruled state government.

The city stands virtually crippled as thousands and thousands of farmers with about five thousand tractor-trolleys swooped into Bhopal in the wee hours of Monday morning to lay siege of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s official residence. They have also created road-blockades on main city squares in different parts of the city to register their protest against the non-fulfillment of their long pending demands.

The farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Madhya Pradesh Unit are up in arms and in a do-or-die mood while staging “dharna” (sit-in) on the road and an adjoining park half-a-kilometer away from the CM’s house. They are agitating for their various demands including 12-hour power supply to rural areas, adequate fertilizers, quality seeds, better return for their produce, water etc.

Terming their siege as “Operation 20/12” they have come prepared for a long drawn battle with fight to finish till their demands are met forthwith. They have come armed with provisions including rations and warm clothes for about a fortnight and would not yield till demands are accepted and not just assurances are given as in the last six to seventh months it has been. The farmers appear to be very much charged and determined to attain their mission.

Taking everybody, including the district administration and the police, by surprise thousands and thousands of aggrieved agitating farmers from all over Madhya Pradesh in their tractor trolleys marched into the city to hold a convention in Indira Priyadarshini Park near the CM’s house over the non-fulfillment of their various demands despite submission of memorandums several times. They foxed the district administration and turned their convention into “dharna” and “Chakka Jaam” (road blockades).

According to Kisan Sangh state president Shiv Kumar Sharma Chief Minister Chouhan has only dished out assurances about a dozen times each time the Sangh office-bearers met him with their demands. He calls himself to be the son of a farmer but by his conduct he has proved to be their worst enemy. “Kisan Ka Putr Kahlane Wala Kisan Ka Dushman Hai”, he remarked.

Among many slogans raised by the farmers at the site of the “dharna” the most vocal was “Jab Tak Dukhi Kisan Rahega, Zameen Par Toofan Rahega”.

As time progressed and more and more farmers in thousands trooped into the city the traffic movement went haywire normal life went topsy-turvy. Many schools had to declare holiday, examination in colleges were cancelled and government offices registered thin attendance.

Meanwhile, talks between the Home Minister and farmers failed to result in a solution that would have seen the lifting of the blockade unleashed ion the State capital by the agitating farmers.

Sources said the State Government in principle agreed to fulfill 50 demands of the farmers. However, Kisan Sangh president Shiv Kumar Sharma sought the issuance of orders in this regard.

The Minister informed him that the process for issuing orders would take some time, but Sharma dug in his heels and refused to call off the agitation till the orders regarding fulfilling farmers' demands are issued.
A delegation of farmers led by Sharma and Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta, Minister of State for Farmers' Welfare Brajendra Pratap Singh and State BJP Organisational general secretary Makhan Singh participated in the talks that took place at the Home Minister's residence in the evening.

It is irony that Bharatiya Kisan Sangh is said to be an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS), and it is has jolted a rightist BJP ruled government putting Chouhan in a tight corner and breathing down his neck.







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