HUNDREDS OF farmers led by the Bharatiya Janskhakti general secretary Prahlad Patel, his brother Jalam Singh Patel and Hakam Singh Chadar — both suspended BJP MLAs – on Monday staged a huge protest in Narsinghpur but didn’t court arrest, claiming the administration did not make proper arrangements to lodge them.
Though the farmers were armed with lathis and held the protest to press the State Government to increase the procurement price of sugarcane, improve power supply and make available fertilisers, they stayed peaceful.
Meanwhile, Prahlad Patel persuaded Jalam and Chadar to brake their indefinite hunger strike. However, another batch of protesters led by Mahendra Nagesh – Narsinghpur Zila Panchayat president — commenced the indefinite hunger strike.
The protesters from Janpad Maidan went to Kotwali to court arrest but they claimed that the district administration had made no arrangement to lodge them.
Prahlad Patel charged, “The BJP government tried to provoke us and then frame false cases against us. The administration deliberately didn’t prepare a place to put the protesters in after the proposed courting arrest. But we remained peaceful”.
Patel alleged that the district administration was working as the agent of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who had scant respect for the democratic values and MLAs.
When contacted, Narsinghpur Collector Krishna Mohan Gautam said the administration had made arrangement to lodge the protesters in the stadium and had informed them as well. But, the protesters went to Kotwali instead of the stadium to court arrest, he claimed.