MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan apes Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to sit on a fast

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan apes Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to sit on a fast
As Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan goes on with his indefinite fast, the BJP is agog with questions as to whether he is losing grip on the state -- after being in power more than 12 years. Top party leaders were told by his ministers that chief minister ignored warnings about the growing unrest among farmers demanding adequate price for their produce and loan waver.

Chouhan's fast is somewhat akin to similar sit-in dharna of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in January 2014. Ironically, Chouhan's fast is to restore peace in the state which was disturbed after his own police killed five persons in a farmers agitation in Mandsaur while Kejriwal was protesting against corrupt inspectors in Delhi police which comes under the central government.

More than the farmers'agitation, Chouhan's administrative inability and political shortshitedness to assess that violence would spread into other parts of the state after he had brokered peace accepting their aggrarian demand is baffling party leaders here. More so, through out his tenure, which is after he took over from Babulal Gaur as the CM in November 2005, Chouhan was known for being people and farmer friendly, a party leader pointed out.

The incident had infuriated the central BJP leadership, with PMO and home ministry stepping in to seek report from the state on farmers violence. The agrarian crisis, despite MP figuring high on agri achievement parameters, coupled with Vyapam scam has dented the CM's image ahead of November 2018 assembly polls.

Though the situation may be returning to normal in the state, the BJP is contemplating sending leaders from the centre such as union minister Narendra Singh Tomar to assess the ground situation and assist the CM to tide over the turbulant days. Sources said it is likely that Tomar, who held Congress accountable for flaring up agitation in the state, may visit Bhopal on Sunday.

The centre's headache is unlikely to end soon. One of the NDA ally from Maharastra, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), has openly attacked the centre on farmers issue. The SSS led by MP Raju Shetti, who has been spearheading campaign on farm loan waver in Maharastra, is comtemplating to pulling out of the NDA and join opposition's attempt to corner the Modi government on the distress in agrarian sector.  He is likely to meet JDU veteran leader Sharad Yadav on Wednesday in the national capital.

The UP BJP government's decision to write off farm loans to fulfill its poll promise has prompted the community in other BJP ruled states to make similar demands which are difficult for regimes to deliver owing to severe burden on the exchequre. BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa too is raising similar voices on behalf of farmers to target Congress government in Karnataka. For Yeddyurappa, the issue could be good politics in assembly polls due next year but it may turn out as bad economics if the BJP comes to power in Karnataka.
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