New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh was seen doing yoga with yoga guru Ramdev at a public function in Bihar’s Motihari, even as the killing of Madhya Pradesh farmers in police firing fuelled protests in other parts of the country.
The yoga event was part of a three-day camp organised by Ramdev.
The BJP and the Congress are embroiled in a slugfest over the killing of five people during farmers’ protests in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district on Tuesday. Two days later, the state’s home minister Bhupendra Singh admitted that the lives were lost during police firing.
Sources in the Agriculture Ministry said Singh’s visit was pre-planned and that he was monitoring the situation in Madhya Pradesh.
The issue took a political turn on Thursday when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was detained in Neemuch, around 60 km from Mandsaur where he was scheduled to meet the families of the deceased farmers.
Protests also broke out in Maharashtra’s Solapur where around 4,000 people took to the streets a day after a debt-ridden farmer killed himself.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will waive off the loans of his rich friends. He won’t help out the farmers. He can't give the right rates for their agricultural produce, can't give them bonus, can't give compensation... He can only give them bullets," Rahul Gandhi said just before he was taken into preventive custody.
Hitting out at the Centre, Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said: “The agriculture minister is not serious about the issue. What is the PM doing? What are his ministers doing?”
“The agriculture minister should have been in Mandsaur to resolve the issue. The government does not care about the farmers,” Chavan told CNN-News18.
Hitting back, BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai said those protesting were not farmers but members of political parties.