Intensifying their protest on the issue of compensation for rain and hailstorm-hit farmers, the Congress MLAs on Thursday began an indefinite hunger strike in the well of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
The protest entered the third day on Thursday with Congress members showing no sign of relenting on the issue.
Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare told reporters outside the Assembly gate that, "The party MLAs have begun the hunger strike since morning in protest against the BJP government for not fulfilling our demand of providing relief to farmers affected by the unseasonal rains and hailstorm." When asked how will he be able to observe fast as he suffered injuries after a fall in the Assembly premises last night, Katare said as the party legislators were participating in the protest, he too decided to go for it.
He said that they will continue with their agitation and not budge on the issue till their demands are not fulfilled.
Katare also challenged the government to try removing them from the Assembly.
At present, nearly 30 MLAs are taking part in the protest and all others have been directed to reach Bhopal soon, the LoP said.
Katare also said that only the Congress MLAs were called to Bhopal and not the party workers.
The partymen have been asked to stage similar protest in their respective areas, he said.
Dissatisfied with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's reply on the discussion over the issue of providing relief to the rain and hailstorm hit farmers, Congress members have been staging a sit-in since March 24 evening in the well of the House even after the Assembly session was adjourned sine die by Speaker Dr Sitasharan Sharma.
The Congress demanded compensation payment to the farmers in districts where crops were damages in the earlier as well as the recent spell of unseasonal rains.
The party has demanded Rs 150 per quintal bonus for wheat, waiving of electricity bills of farmers for single-point connection and water pumps, and suspending recovery of loans, among others.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh home minister Babulal Gaur on Thursday visited the Assembly to enquire about the condition of Katare, who suffered injuries after falling in the Vidhan Sabha lobby Wednesday night.