After the multi-layered Vyapam scam, the agrarian crisis and suicide of 30 farmers following crop loss this season has come in handy for the Opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh to regroup itself and launch an attack on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government on the ground, which the party has not been able to do effectively during the 12-years of BJP rule.
While party’s chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia is carrying out slew of public meetings over farmers’ issues in Chambal region, attracting massive crowds in these Kisan Janakrosh rallies, former MP and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvjjaya Singh’s younger brother Laxman Singh is carrying out padyatras in his home turf Rajgarh and surrounding places.
State Congress chief Arun Yadav too is also carrying out padyatras, which he proposes to continue till he covers the entire state. In the first phase of his padyatra, Laxman Singh covered Sironj and Lateri tehsils, which were once part of his Rajgarh constituency but came under Sagar constituency following delimitation. He proposes to hold a protest at Madhusudangarh on Monday and then proceed with next phase of padyatra in Rajgarh constituency.
“The chief minister may have announced some relief measures, but they are not being implemented on the ground. Collection of electricity bills must stop, payment of loans must be deferred, inflated electricity bills being given to farmers must stop and of course they should be given compensation,” Laxman Singh told HT over phone.
Yadav, who started his padyatra from Amarkantak, the place of origin of Narmada river, often referred to as lifeline of MP, has also been raising farmers’ issues. Earlier this week, he took part in a padyatra in Ujjain division. He is likely to visit areas under Sagar division soon.
“Yes, we wish to highlight that Congress will now fight misrule of the BJP on the ground. Party’s state president Scindia ji and Laxman Singh ji are not carrying out yatras or rallies in isolation, they (yatras) are a part of a coordinated effort of the Congress to reach out to people and highlight the failures of the Shivraj government, particularly in ameliorating the condition of farmers,” said party’s state chief spokesperson KK Mishra.
Scindia, who received overwhelming response to his three major Kisan Janakrosh rallies, held recently, has put forward a five-point demand charter to the state government on behalf of the party, which includes declaring all the tehsils of the state as drought-hit, waiver of electricity dues and loan of farmers and interest accrued thereon, immediate launch of drought-relief works and free supply of seeds and fertilisers to farmers for Rabi season.
“I have been touring areas of Chambal and Malwa. Condition of farmers are pathetic and there is no relief coming forth from the government…I am going and will continue going among the farmers of my state in this hour of crisis to expose the state government’s apathy towards them,” he told HT, on the sidelines of his rally at Shivpuri.