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Home > India > News > PTI

Madhya Pradesh CM, aides go on 24-hour fast

April 30, 2008 16:13 IST

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Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his cabinet colleagues have started a 24-hour 'fast' from 11 am on Wednesday to protest the United Progressive Alliance government's alleged discriminatory attitude towards the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

The fast was organised to highlight the Centre's 'step-motherly' treatment to the state in allotting foodgrains for both Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line categories, not providing assistance to meet drought in 37 of 48 districts, slashing the state's share of electricity from the central pool and curtailing coal supply to thermal stations as part of a conspiracy to create a power crisis ahead of the assembly elections later this year, the chief minister said.

Chouhan is observing upvas at the busy Roshanpura square in New Market area of Bhopal.

Addressing the gathering, Chouhan said the federal structure as provided in the Constitution would suffer a setback if the Centre ignored the due interests of states. ''The Centre should mend its attitude,'' he said.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made and traffic was diverted in view of Chouhan's fast. Office-goers had a tough time reaching their workplace as the traffic in New Market area had been diverted without advance notice.

State BJP President Narendra Singh Tomar was leading the fast in Sidhi, while BJP ministers were fasting at different district headquarters.

The BJP government, which recently launched the 'Annapoorna Yojana' with pomp and show to provide subsidised foodgrains to BPL families with wheat at Rs 3 per kg and rice at Rs 4.50 per kg with a view to garner electoral benefits, is peeved at the Centre not conceding its demand to treat 62.50 lakh families as BPL compared to 41.25 lakh families at present.

The Centre provides subsidised foodgrains at the rate of 35/kg per family per month to 41.25 lakh BPL families. Using the same quota, the BJP government launched the 'Annapoorna Yojana' on April 26 under which each BPL family was given 20 kg foodgrains per month.

Against the present allocation of 66,220 tonnes foodgrains per month for APL families, the state government sought additional allocation of 1.19 lakh tonnes per month in view of the drought situation.

The chief minister complained that the Centre had not released even a single paisa for drought relief. From the central pool, the state was getting only 31 megawatt electricity against 350 MW earlier.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has termed the BJP government's dharna against the Centre as a ''political stunt'' to divert the people's attention from its alleged failure to come up to the people's expectations.

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