Under Congress, Farmers Will Shoot: Madhya Pradesh Leader Triggers Row

The BJP government of the Madhya Pradesh had faced much criticism from the opposition following the incident.

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Dilip Mishra made an controversial statement on the last week's farmers' protest in Mandsaur


A Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh has stepped into a controversy, allegedly saying under the leadership of Ajay Singh, also known as Rahul Bhaiyya, the state's farmers would be the ones doing the shooting. The reference was to last week's farmers' protest in Mandsaur, where six farmers had died in police firing.

The BJP government of the state had faced much criticism from the opposition following the incident. On Monday, Dilip Mishra, a leader based in Satna, said, "In Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan's government wants to kill people openly. I swear here today, under Rahul bhaiyaa's leadership, in the coming times, instead of the government, the farmers will be the ones who will do the shooting."

Ajay Singh - the son of former Chief Minister and cabinet minister Arjun Singh -- is the Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh.

The party is yet to comment on Mr Mishra's comments.

On an earlier occasion too, Congress leaders have made allegedly controversial comments. On June 3, Shakuntala Khatik, a legislator from Karaira near Shivpuri, along with farmer leader DP Dhakad, had asked a group of protestors to burn down the local police station. The next day, violence had started during farmers' protests in Ratlam. Mr Dhakad has since been absconding and there is a Rs 10,000 reward from the police for information on him.

Two days ago, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was arrested when he visited Mandsaur to meet the families of the farmers who died in the police firing. His attempts to defy police barricades had turned into a wild steeplechase as the Congress leader swapped his car for a bike, then hopped on to another bike, and finally footed it through the fields.

"Modi waived money for the elite but he cannot waive farmer loans. He can only give goli (bullets)  to farmers," he had told reporters accompanying him.

The farmers in Madhya Pradesh had started protests earlier this month, demanding better prices for their crops and a loan waiver. The Mandsaur region had been the epicenter of the protests.

In April, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh had waived loans to the tune of Rs 35,000 crores which it had promised in the run-up to the state assembly elections. Yesterday, the Maharashtra government announced a loan waiver for farmers as promised by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.


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