RAIPUR: Farmers in Chhattisgarh held a dharna in the state capital on Sunday as a means of protest against the death of five farmers due to police firing in Madhya Pradesh last week. They have also threatened to intensify the stir by staging a road blockade and ‘rail roko’ agitation on June 16 if their demands are not met.
Chhattisgarh Pragatisheel Kissan Sangathan Sangathan convenor Rajkumar Gupta said that the farmers demanded the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report that proposes a minimum support price that ensures 50 percent return on farm inputs, as well as waiver of all loans of farmers in the state. The farmers alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state had earlier promised to increase the minimum support price on paddy to Rs 2100 per quintal and an additional bonus of Rs 300 per quintal but even after three years, the promises have not been kept. The farmers want the government to pay the farmers the difference of amount accumulated in the last three years along with free electricity for irrigation pumps upto 5HP and uninterrupted power supply for irrigation pumps installed under Atal Jyoti Yojana.
Gupta has stated that apart from these demands, the farmers have also demanded the dismissal of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh and slapping of murder charges on the policemen who opened fire on farmers at Mandsaur.
After the dharna on Sunday, farmer bodies decided to intensify the agitation organising blockade of highways at at least one place in each district of the state on June 16, if their demands are not met by that time.