Farmers stir: Cong terms Chouhan's fast a 'sham'

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a press conference on protests in Mandsaur on Friday where he said that he will fast at Dussehra Maidan on Saturday from 11 AM to bring peace.

Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers' agitation in Madhya Pradesh, remained peaceful on Friday. "He is one chief minister who is accessible to people all the time".

"We will help the farmers in any way we can, decisions will be taken and if need be, I will lay down my life for them", he said.

Holding Chouhan responsible for the killing of at least five farmers in Madhya Pradesh, AAP's state convener Nishikant Mohapatra said the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister had no moral right to visit Bargarh, a place mostly inhabited by farmers. "All problems can be resolved peacefully", Chouhan said. He has also invited agitating farmers for talks.

However, the opposition has called it a "drama" and criticised his "hypocrisy". "By going on a fast he has shown his commitment for the people and the state", he added. A pandal was erected at BHEL, Dussehra Maidan in state capital Bhopal from where Chouhan will run his government.

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"I totally stand by Shivraj Chouhan's fast for peace and support him in this initiative".

The ruling BJP has accused the Congress of provoking the farmers and fuelling the protests.

Farmers are selling potatoes and onions at throwaway prices in the state.

Madhya Pradesh is reeling after six farmers were killed+ in clashes with police earlier this week in Mandsaur after farmers' organizations began protesting, demanding better prices for farm produce and loan waivers. The situation is similar in case of wheat as well, he alleged.

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