New Delhi [India] June 11 : Criticising Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's indefinite hunger strike over farmers' agitation, the Congress Party on Sunday said the fast is observed to divert the attention from the former's mistakes in handling the crucial situation.
"He is sitting on the fasts not for the farmers but for himself. He wants to save his face. His police killed five farmers and today the death toll has gone up to six. This fast is only to divert the attention," Congress leader P. C. Chacko told ANI. He further said that Chouhan is answerable to the brutal killing of the farmers who were agitating for their legitimate demands.
"First his statement was that it wasn't a police firing and after three days his Home Minister came out with the statement that it was a police firing.
Then who is responsible here? By sitting on a fast can he correct it? His police and intelligence are inefficient," Chacko added.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that it's Chouhan's duty to bring the situation under control.
"Instead of solving the farmers' issue, he is demonstrating fasts. He should go to the farmers and ask them personally what do they all need. But by being silent he is making the situation more difficult and it seem like the demands of these farmers are not legitimate," Kharge added.
He further said that the UPA Government helped the farmers at a huge level in their regime and Chouhan should do the same.
Earlier yesterday, Chouhan, who began his indefinite hunger strike, asserted that he would not let the state engulf in violence and would ensure that peace returns.
"I discussed many problems and its solution. There are some issues which have already been addressed and there are some on which we have to take a decision.
We are considering every issue seriously whether it is small or big. We will think about it and discuss it and thereafter, we will definitely take a decision in the interest of farmers," Chouhan said.
While appealing to the farmers to come forward and discuss all the issues, the Chief Minister further said he would not call off his hunger strike unless there is peace in the state.
"My fast will continue till there is peace in the entire state. Madhya Pradesh is a temple to me and its people are my God. People's pain is my pain," he added. Claiming that the majority of the population in Madhya Pradesh is dependent on farming, Chouhan said that the state cannot progress without farmers.
"More than 65 percent of our population is dependent on farming. So the state cannot move ahead without the farmers," he said. Highlighting his various schemes for the farmers, Chouhan further said, "Whenever, there has been a crisis, I did not sit in my office and visited the farmers myself.".