Ahmedabad: Around 20 Congress workers including a MLA were on Friday detained by local police at Amreli town in Saurashtra region as a precautionary measure to stop them from staging protests at a government function attended by two state ministers.
Demanding higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) for cotton and groundnut, around 20 Congress workers, led by Congress MLA of Amreli Paresh Dhanani, today gathered outside Collector office in the town, where state Law Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja and Minister for Rural Development Jayanti Kavadia were scheduled to inaugurate a new building this morning.
"We learned that Dhanani and others who were waving black flags, have planned to stage protest against ministers and disrupt the program. Thus as a precautionary measure, we detained 20 of them at around 10 AM. Later, we released them at around 1.30 PM," said Amreli Police Inspector A S Pandya.
After release, Dhanani told PTI that the party unit of Amreli has decided to boycott all the government programmes till their demands are met.
"We will continue our protest till the government increased the MSP of cotton and groundnut. We will not allow any minister to hold programmes and deliver speeches making false promises. Farmers want compensation, not mere promises. By detaining us, government wants to silence the voice of farmers," Dhanani told PTI.
Yesterday, more than 60 Congress workers, led by Modasa Congress MLA Rajendra Thakor and Bhiolda MLA Anil Joshiara, were detained in Modasa town of Aravalli district for staging similar protests against Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
Since last one week, Congress intensified their anti-government agitation on the MSP issue. On behalf of farmers, Congress has been demanding that MSP on cotton should be increased from Rs 810 per 20 kg to atleast Rs 1500.
Similarly, MSP on groundnut should be increased from Rs 600 per 20 kg to atleast Rs 1000.
Dhanani, who is also a farmer, justified the demand by claiming that previous UPA government has given Rs 1200 as the MSP for cotton.
"However, even at that point, Narendra Modi used to say (in his election speeches) that he feels pain due to such low MSP and demanded Rs 1500 as MSP for cotton from government. Now, when he is PM, we want to ask him that where his pain has gone, when we are getting just Rs 800," said Dhanani.