While the Opposition Congress described state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's fast on Thursday along with his Council of Ministers to take up the farmers' issues as "politics", the BJP justified it by saying that the party was highlighting the rights of the farming community.

"Farmers are the backbone of the country and comprise 70 percent of the total populations. They are 'Annadata' (food grains provider) to the people and staging a protest for their rights cannot be termed as politics," state BJP unit president Narendra Singh Tomar said.
Criticising Congress for terming the protest as "politics", Tomar said, "BJP is a leading political party in the state with focus on farmer-centric politics. We believe that every government's first priority should be farmers and is duty bound to fulfill their needs on priority basis. We are doing the same and will be with them in their hours of crisis. We take pride in it."

Earlier, Chouhan had also hit out at the Congress for terming his visit to the affected villages as "Ola paryatan" (hail tourism) and alleged that its leaders were insensitive towards the plight of farmers.

The state ministers and BJP leaders on Thursday observed fast in Bhopal to draw the attention of Central government towards the plight of farmers by demanding a special package of Rs 5,000 crore for providing relief to them.

The fast was also observed as the Centre failed to provide relief for soybean crop loss, not purchasing gram crop on MSP at Rs 3,100 per quintal and not recognising Madhya Pradesh as a basmati rice producing region.


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