BHOPAL -- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday ended his indefinite fast, which he launched on Saturday for the restoration of peace in his state, which has been rocked by farmer agitation and violence.
Former Chief Minister Kailash Joshi offered Chouhan coconut water to help him break his two-day-old fast at the Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal. Chouhan started his fast on Saturday in the wake of violence that marred the farmers' protest from June 1, launched to press their demand for a debt waiver and better prices for farm produce.
Earlier, Chouhan had said he lived for the state's people and the farmers and would also die for them. He said he would ensure farmers don't face any problems. At least five farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur on June 6. Farmer leaders, however, put the deaths at eight. One farmer died later of injuries in clashes with police.
The violence by Madhya Pradesh farmers in Mandsaur has spilled over to several other districts, including the Malwa-Nimad area and even reached the state capital. State Ministers and the kin of the peasants killed in police firing earlier urged the Chief Minister to end his fast.
On Saturday night, Chouhan met the family members of the killed farmers. He also met several representatives of farmers' organisations and listened to their problems on Saturday. However, both the Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister Gauri Shankar Bisen had ruled out any loan waiver, following which a group of farmers started a counter-protest opposite Chouhan's podium at the same site.