Shivraj Singh Chouhan to stage sit-in to take up farmers` cause
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesdsay said he and his Cabinet colleagues will stage a sit-in on March 6 during the bandh call given by the BJP to protest the Centre`s apathy towards farmers affected by natural calamities.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had no time to meet me during my last visit to Delhi on the issue of farmers despite the fact that he was present in the national capital," Chouhan told reporters in the state Assembly`s press room.
"If the Prime Minister has no time for a Chief Minister, then where will I raise my voice?" he asked.
"In view of the apathetic attitude of the Centre toward farmers, the entire Cabinet will stage a sit-in in the state capital from 10 AM to 2 PM in protest on March 6 during the day-long bandh call given by the BJP," he said.
"We have demanded to declare the extensive damage to the crops by rain/hail and cold as national calamity and a package of Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre," he said.
Despite a central team recommending Rs 370 crore package to the state for distribution as compensation towards the damage to soybean crop, the Centre has given just Rs 34 crore despite the fact that MP on its own distributed Rs 600 crore to the affected farmers, Chouhan said.
He also said that no action has been taken till date on the demand of purchasing gram crop on MSP, as urged by him to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Agriculture Minister.
The state not yet being recognised as Basmati rice grower by the Geographical Indications Authority is also a grave injustice to the farmers of the state, he said.
The Chief Minister also said that he was constantly touring the affected villages to assure the farmers that the state government stood by them in their hour of crisis.
The state government has already earmarked Rs 2,000 crore in the vote-on-account passed in the state Assembly for helping the farmers, he added.
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