Congress MLAs spent Tuesday night inside the Madhya Pradesh assembly demanding adequate compensation for farmers who were hit by unseasonal rain and hail in the state.
Dissatisfied with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's reply on providing relief to recent rain- and hail-hit farmers, Congress members, led by leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare, did not relent and continued their protest.
Congress MLAs are protesting what they say is state government's apathetic attitude towards farmers whose crops were damaged by recent rain and hailstorm in several parts of the state.
On Tuesday, a special session of the assembly was convened for a day to discuss a few bills and also to pass a second supplementary budget of Rs 10,657 crores. To take the sting out of the opposition's attack on the government on the farmers' issue, the ruling party included a discussion on the same in the business list of the House.
Katare expressed dissatisfaction over Chouhan's reply and demanded extension of the session to three days to hold discussion on the issue.
However, after the House was adjourned after an extended session, which went beyond the stipulated closing time of 5pm, Congress MLAs refused to leave the house creating an unprecedented situation at the assembly secretariat.
They said since the state government did not concede to their demands for providing immediate relief to farmers they had no other option left but to stage a sit-in demonstration. Their demands included adequate relief and compensation package to farmers, waiver of all loans and immediate suspension of all the recoveries from the farmers by the banks and government agencies.
Katare dismissed the CMs reply as a mere political speech and said they had asked Speaker Sitasharan Sharma and Chouhan to have a serious debate on the farmers issue but they did not allot them appropriate time and also did not consider their demands.
Chouhan in his reply on a debate on the farmers' issue in the House said the state government would provide relief to the affected farmers from state budget. He said though 4 lakh hectare of agriculture land was affected due to rains and hailstorm, major areas remained unaffected.
He also said the development work in the state would be deferred to facilitate relief to the farmers.
The government extended the stay of police force deployed at the assembly premises for security during the session and media persons were asked to leave the premises.
All the gates of the assembly still remain closed and media persons were kept at bay. No outsider, except a few Congress leaders, was allowed to enter the premises.