Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan begins 'peace' fast

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan began his indefinite fast to restore peace at Bhopal's Dussehra Maidan. Chouhan was greeted by the ex-Chief Minister of the state Kailash Joshi. "The Chief Minister will hold discussions on different schemes launched by the government, including School Chale Hum, he would also review the Kharif produce, issues related to Hamidia Hospital and primarily talking to the farmers", sources in the administration said. "Bargarh district is the land of farmers".

The State govt. faced criticism for the police firing in western Madhya Pradesh that killed five protesting farmers, triggering large scale arson and rioting. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh termed the fast as a "Kejriwal drama", which, he alleged, would involve an expenditure of crores of rupees.

The chief minister reiterated that he wants farmers to come and talk to him at the Maidan.

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The BJP leader further claimed that there had been no progress in the joint probe by the two countries into the Pathankot attack. Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit scheduled in Astana for June 8 and 9.

The central government is in touch with states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, and sensitising them against any possible protest by farmers, officials said in Delhi.

His fast was an attempt to ensure peace was restored at a time when "some elements are out to push the State into violence to realise their political goals".

"He was accompanied by the Principal Secretary and Secretary". Those instigating violence would not be spared, Chouhan said.

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Congress state president Arun Yadav said: "This fasting is a farce being played out by Chouhan".

Various farmers' organisations from around the country will be assembling in Ratlam on Sunday to support the ongoing unrest in Madhya Pradesh and pay tributes to the farmers killed in police firing.

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  • Ryan Wade