Bhopal (Agencies): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday called off his fast following an "assurance" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will look into the issues raised by the state government. Govt not disbursing funds to farmers
The BJP leader sat on the fast this afternoon in a makeshift tent here to protest the Centre's alleged neglect of the demands of the state.
A few minutes later, Chouhan got up to address those assembled at the venue and announced that he was calling off the hunger strike following the Prime Minister's "assurance". Chouhan said the Prime Minister has invited him for a meeting in Delhi on February 20.
The Prime Minister has also directed the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to look into the demands raised by the MP Government, Chouhan said.
Singh assured Chouhan that he would arrange a meeting between him and the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission to sort out the issues he had raised.
"This meeting will be arranged within a week. Let me also take this opportunity to thank you for acceding to my request not to proceed on the fast," the Prime Minister said.
The state BJP has accused the Congress-led UPA Government of meting out "step-motherly" treatment to Madhya Pradesh and ignoring key issues raised by them, especially those related to farmers, who are facing tough time due to crop failure.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has described Chouhan's fast as "drama".
"The State leadership should take the measures to provide relief to the farmers whose crops have been damaged by recent frost and cold-wave, but I am surprised that the Chief Minister will undertake a fast," Scindia said here on Saturday night.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Suresh Pachouri alleged that the state government was not
disbursing the allocated relief amount to the farmers, whose crops have been damaged due to recent frost and cold wave in the state.
"Though the state government has allocated relief funds to the affected farmers district-wise, its disbursement is not taking place," Pachouri told reporters after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called off his fast against the Centre over different issues including a special package to the farmers.
Pachouri said the Centre was providing adequate funds to the state for farmers and under different beneficial schemes, but the latter was failing to make use of it.
Money be recovered from CM’s salary
Expressing happiness over Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan calling off his fast, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said the money spent on making arrangements for it be recovered from the CM's salary.
"I am glad that the Chief Minister listened to the good advice given to him by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and State Governor Rameshwar Thakur," he said.
Singh said that if Chouhan continued to listen to the advice of the Prime Minister and the Governor, it would be very good for the welfare of Madhya Pradesh.
He said that a lot of money had been spent at the venue of the fast for constructing an air-conditioned room and other facilities which must be recovered from Chouhan's salary.
Bhopal (Agencies): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday called off his fast following an "assurance" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre will look into the issues raised by the state government.
Govt not disbursing funds to farmers