Bhopal : When the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rose to address the “Kisan Sammelan” at Bhopal’s Jamboree Maidan here on Monday, more than three-fourths of the chairs in the sprawling tent were vacant.
The programme was arranged by the state government for distributing cheques to the beneficiaries of the “Bhavantar Yojana”. Under the scheme, the farmers are to be paid the difference between the sale price of their produce and the model rate fixed by the government.
Arrangements were made for accommodating two lakh farmers at the function venue but barely 25,000 turned up. The commencement of the programme was delayed by one and half hours in the hope that the ground would get filled up. However, that did not happen.
Sources said that farmers were ferried in buses from the nearby districts of Raisen, Vidisha and Sehore for the show.
Hundreds of farmers had brought papers listing their complaints regarding non-payment of crop insurance dues. However, only a few of them could hand them over to the chief minister.
“The CM is lying. To date, I haven’t got my crop insurance dues and neither have I received a pie under the Bhavantar scheme,” alleged Sitaram Patel from Damoh district. Another farmer Ramchandar from Iklehra in Rajgarh district declared in a loud voice that, “In 600 villages, not a rupee has been distributed. He claims that he has given crores of rupees. I don’t know where it has gone”. As people started gathering around Ramchandar, the people pushed him out of the ground.
When the CM and the agriculture minister Gaurishankar Bisen were delivering their speeches, the annoyed farmers were raising slogans demanding their dues. The police had a tough time calming them down.