Congress stages anti-BJP government protests in MP

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Bhopal, Jun 30 (PTI) Terming the toppling of the Congress dispensation in Madhya Pradesh in March as murder of democracy, workers and leaders of the opposition party on Tuesday staged state-wide protests on completion of 100 days of the BJP government.

The Congress observed June 30 as Black Day' to protest against the BJP administration and said voters will teach a lesson to the saffron outfit in the upcoming bypolls to two dozen assembly seats.

The party also demanded a 'white paper' on the COVID- 19 situation in the BJP-ruled state.

Former minister Sajjan Singh Verma and other Congress leaders accused the BJP of 'murdering democracy in the state by toppling a popular government through money power' and especially targeted Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

A large number of Congress workers staged protests in various parts of Madhya Pradesh, including in the state capital here, on completion of 100 days of the Chouhan government.

Senior party leaders, including Verma and former ministers PC Sharma and Jitu Patwari, also addressed a press conference on the occasion.

The BJP has murdered democracy as it was losing ground because of popularity of the then chief minister Kamal Naths government,' Verma alleged.

'Naths government had worked for the welfare of people, including making a provision of Rs 300 crore for Mahakal temples renovation, opening hundreds of cowsheds, waiving loans of farmers and generating employment for youths, Verma said.

In its 'lust for power', the BJP overlooked looming coronavirus threat in Madhya Pradesh and pushed the state in a situation where people lost their lives due to the pandemic, the former minister said.

Verma said in the upcoming bypolls, people will give a befitting reply to those who have 'murdered' democracy in the state.

Congress leaders criticised the Chouhan government over the rising prices of petroleum products, especially diesel which has burdened farmers with an additional cost of Rs 1,800 per hectare for undertaking agriculture-related works.

They questioned the 'silence' of Chouhan on the issue of rising cost of petrol and diesel, saying he vociferously protested against such moves whenever he was in opposition or when a non-BJP government was in power at the Centre.

The Congress leaders also alleged the BJP government has 'failed' to manage the coronavirus situation in the state as in the last 100 days, more than 13,000 positive cases have emerged with over 500 deaths.

There is a 'big difference' between the figures of coronavirus-related deaths issued by the government and the number of persons cremated or buried at crematoriums and cemeteries, the opposition party said.

They alleged that the government is misleading people on the issue of coronavirus and demanded a 'white paper' on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Besides Bhopal, anti-government protests were held in Indore, Vidisha, Rewa, Umaria, Datia, Sheopur, Tikamgarh, Shahdol, Niwadi and Chattarpur among other districts.

In Indore, a group of Congress leaders, wearing black clothes, sang bhajans at Regal intersection.

The Nath-led Congress government collapsed in March after 22 party MLAs, including ministers, rebelled and resigned from the assembly. These MLAs later joined the BJP which formed government under Chouhan. PTI MAS HWP ADU RSY RSY