Congress activists protest against government apathy towards farmers in Madhya Pradesh

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Bhopal, Feb 13(ANI): Activists of the Congress party staged a demonstration in Bhopal on Sunday to protest against the neglect of farmers by the state government.

Farmers and agriculturalists in Madhya Pradesh have in the past few months been caught in an inescapable whirlpool of drought conditions, rising prices and abject poverty.

Consequently, farmer suicides in the region have gone up.

Shouting slogans, hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Bhopal demanding 'justice' for the pitiable plight of farmers in the region.

"We are protesting the farce that is being done by the state government with regard to the farmers' issue. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide till now. They are not being given adequate compensation. Somebody with huge tracts of land is being given merely Rs 500," said P.C. Sharma, former Congress legislator of Madhya Pradesh.

"Till now, Rs. 450crores have been released by the Central government to resolve the issue. But this money is not being channeled among the farmers. Now, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan is sitting on a fast to demand more money. Can't a government, with an overdraft of Rs.62,000 crores distribute Rs.2000 crores among the farmers?" he added.

Congress activists also alleged that government apathy was the root cause of the sharp hike observed in the number of farmer suicides.

A defiant Sharma further maintained that the Congress would continue their struggle for the rights of farmers.

"We will continue to protest against this farce. We will go to jail. But we will continue our struggle for the rights of farmers," Sharma said.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India, 8,360 farmers have committed suicide since 2005.

Madhya Pradesh is among the top five states in suicides by farmers.

Besides being stung by higher production costs due to inflation and lower profits, farmers have been facing a number of climatic and socio-economic problems in the region, including heavy rainfall, harassment by moneylenders, inability to repay debts following crop loss, and water scarcity, among others. (ANI)

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