Chouhan cancels fast after PM’s positive response on aid

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BHOPAL - Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Sunday cancelled his indefinite fast to protest against the centre’s “injustice to the people” of the state after receiving a positive response from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on aid.

The chief minister said the prime minister has invited him to Delhi Feb 20 for talks with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“It is with heavy feeling that I decided to go on fast. From coal distribution to Indira Awas, foodgrain, roads and to a relief package for farmers - in everything the centre is doing injustice to the people of Madhya Pradesh,” he told Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at the BHEL Dashara ground where the fast was to begin.

“So far not a single extra paisa has been given by the government for the relief of farmers. The Rs.200 crore and Rs.224 crore given was part of the already sanctioned amount for the state, but only given a bit earlier”, he said.

Chouhan said that even after his talks with the prime minister and union ministers no positive step was taken.

“I had decided to go on fast as it was the best way in democracy,” he said.

“Today (Sunday) Governor Rameshwar Thakur had called me up and while returning from the Raj Bhavan I got a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singhji,” Chouhan told the party workers.

He added: “The prime minister told me that I am like his younger brother and he cared for my health. I told him, it would not work to think about me but not about the people of the state.

“He then assured me that he will look into the matter and said that Montek Singh Ahluwalia would look into the matter.”

The chief minister said the prime minister talked to him for over ten minutes and called him to the capital for talks with Ahluwalia.

“After the prime minister’s call, the governor also told me that that I should change my decision (on fast). I also talked to my senior party leaders. They also suggested that I accept the assurance from the prime minister,” Chouhan said.

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