Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar Police on Saturday arrested five persons, including Youth Congress President Lokanath Maharathi for allegedly hurling eggs at Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh’s vehicle near the State Guest House here.
They also showed him black flags in protest against the killing of six farmers in firing in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh.
The incident occurred soon after Singh left the State Guest House and was on his way to Jatni to attend a programme.
Singh was here to attend the mega ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ event.
On Thursday, Singh said that the grand old party is just pretending to be worried and concerned over the Mandsaur incident, where six farmers were killed in firing.
“Those who are worried and concerned about the farmers today, they must know who is responsible for this,” Singh told ANI.
“The incident is unfortunate. The central government has implemented many schemes for the benefit of farmers,” he said.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is on his ‘peace fast’ for the solidarity of the state at the Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal where he has invited agitating farmers for talks.
On Friday, the chief minister said, “I am not emotionless. I appeal to the farmers to come forward and discuss all the issues.”
Maintaining that his government would deal with miscreants with an iron fist, Chouhan said his fast is an attempt to ensure peace in the state.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh are demanding better prices for their produce as also a waiver on loan repayments.
Reacting to Chouhan’s indefinite fast, the Congress party earlier in the day accused the latter of doing political drama to gain the people’s sympathy.
“I do not understand that instead of maintaining law and order which was their responsibility, they fired on farmers. The chief minister is doing these kinds of gimmicks to gain the people’s sympathy,” Congress leader Jeetu Patwari told ANI.
On the other hand, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)and the opposition Congress have locked horns over the farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh, with the former claiming that the latter was behind the chaos and violence in Mandsaur district that claimed six lives.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav attempted to reach Mandsaur earlier this week to commiserate with the agitating farmers, but police prevented their movement into the area. Rahul Gandhi was even detained by the police under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) before being released on bail after several hours.
He has claimed that the Centre is only firing at the farmers rather than providing them with solace and justice.
Meanwhile, Shivpuri Congress MLA Shakuntala Khatik has been seen on video repeatedly inciting party workers and farmers to burn down a police station in the area, even as she is being requested not to do so.
The video, which has gone viral, may further cement the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allegation that the “Congress is instigating farmers for political gain.”