Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday launched a 72-hour 'satyagraha' here in support of farmers, three days after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called off his indefinite fast on the issue.
Scindia, the Congress' Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha, launched the protest at around 3.30 pm at TT Nagar's Dussehra Maidan.
The scion of the erstwhile Gwalior dynasty garlanded the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the stage before sitting on the 'satyagraha'. The photos of the six farmers killed in Mandsaur district earlier this month were also displayed on the stage.
The farmers' protest, which began on June 1 over various demands, including loan waiver and better prices for their produce, took a violent turn on June 6, when five of them were allegedly killed in police firing at Mandsaur.
Another farmer from the district, who was allegedly beaten up by the police, succumbed to his injuries later.
The protest spread to the other districts of western Madhya Pradesh subsequently, including Neemuch, Dhar, Ratlam and Jhabua.
The farmers' agitation prompted the opposition parties to launch an attack on the BJP government in the state and corner Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the issue.
An under pressure Chouhan had launched an indefinite fast here on Saturday with an appeal for peace, but called it off the next day claiming that peace had been restored in the areas affected due to the farmers' protest.
On June 8, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was detained by the police while he was on his way to Mandsaur to meet the kin of the farmers killed in police firing.
Scindia, his party colleague Kantilal Bhuria and a number of Congress supporters were detained by the police on Tuesday at the Nayagaon-Jaora toll booth in Ratlam when they were headed towards neighbouring Mandsaur.
IMAGE: Congress leader and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia paying tributes to the farmers killed in police firing in Mandsaur, during his 72-hour long Satyagraha protest in Bhopal on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI Photo