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
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
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.