Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday lauded President Pranab Mukherjee for voicing concern about the farmers in his first speech after taking oath of the office.

"It is quite heartening for me and millions of farmers that in your maiden speech as the President you voiced a sincere concern for the farming community," Chouhan said in a letter to Mukherjee, which also congratulated him on behalf of the people of Madhya Pradesh.

When Mukherjee headed the Group of Ministers (GoM) -- constituted at Chouhan's behest -- on the issue of including frost and cold wave in the definition of `natural calamity', its decision favoured farmers, Chouhan recalled.

The decision of the GoM in favour of farmers was accepted by the Centre. The credit for this went to "the sensitivity" with which Mukherjee saw the problems and issues of farming community, the letter said.

Chouhan drew the President's attention to high prices of fertilizers, and the need to come up with a comprehensive crop insurance scheme.

He expressed confidence that under Mukherjee's guidance, the `safety net' for the farmers in the country will be redefined.

It was a matter of pride and happiness that "a great statesman" of Mukherjee's stature had adorned the highest office in the land, the letter added, inviting the President to visit Madhya Pradesh.


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