Mumbai: Targeting Shivraj Singh Chouhan for going on a “fast for peace,” the Shiv Sena on Monday slammed the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for using “Gandhian methods” instead of governing the state.
“A chief minister's role is to govern,” the BJP's bickering ally said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana titled "First bullet, then fast".
“Going on fast was Mahatma Gandhi's tool to fight against injustice towards Indians and today neither the Britishers nor the Congress were ruling the country,” the Sena said.
Chouhan had gone on an indefinite fast on Saturday, appealing for peace to farmers demanding loan waivers and remunerative prices for their produce. He ended it the next day while announcing a slew of schemes but issued a stern warning to those who engaged in “incendiary activities”.
“The chief minister going on a hunger strike against protests in his state is a victory of Gandhian thoughts. But Gandhiji, Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel readied farmers to fight against the injustice and cruelty and used Gandhian thoughts to pose a challenge to the Britishers,” the editorial said.
Citing Chouhan’s example to taunt the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government, the Sena said the Madhya Pradesh chief minister's fast at least showed his sensitivity towards farmers, not like Maharashtra politicians who tried to create a rift between cultivators, PTI reported.
“Chouhan did not play dirty politics of terming the stir of farmers as a stir of anti-social elements,” the Sena, which is the BJP's oldest ally, added.
Farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, both ruled by BJP-led governments, went on the warpath June 1 over various demands, including loan waivers and remunerative prices for their produce.
In Maharashtra, after a couple of days of the stir, a group of farmers had claimed that their agitation was called off after talks with Chief Minister Fadnavis.
However, later another section of farmers said the strike was still on. The Maharashtra government yesterday announced a loan waiver for farmers and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which the cultivators called off their protests.
With PTI inputs