Raipur, Nov 1 On the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 16th Foundation Day celebrations in Chhattisgarh, thousands of Congress workers today courted arrest at various places in suppport of their party's 20-point demands including minimum Rs 300 bonus to farmers for paddy.
State unit Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel alleged that Modi has "broken" the faith of farmers hit by "economic crises" in state.
Congress spokesperson Sushil Anand Shukla claimed that over one lakh party workers courted arrest across the state as part of the 'Jail Bharo Andolan'.
Around 18,722 Congress workers, including leaders, courted arrest at different police stations in Raipur district alone, he said.
Besides Baghel, the Leader of Opposition TS Singhdeo, Rajya Sabha MP Chhaya Verma, MLA Satyanarayan Sharma, senior leader Mohammad Akbar were among those who participated in the protests at various places in the state capital.
Similarly, 11,865 workers in Sarguja district and 12,346 workers in Bilaspur courted arrest. However, they were later released unconditionally, Shukla added. Baghel alleged that Chhattigarh did not get anything out of the Prime Minister's visit.
"He (Modi) has once again broken the faith of farmers who have been bearing the brunt of economic crises in state. Neither Modi nor Chief Minister Raman Singh said anything about raising the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy. They were also silent over bonus to farmers," he said.
Among the prominent demands of Congress are payment of Rs 300 bonus and MSP of Rs 2,100 to farmers for each quintal of paddy, distribution of 35 kg rice to every ration card-holder family and a judicial enquiry into "fake naxal encounters" in Bastar.
The Congress leaders also demanded CBI probe into the 2013 Jiram Valley massacre, in which a number of Congress leaders were killed allegedly by naxals, and to discourage outsourcing in local jobs.