A day after a case was registered against a BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh over his protest against shortage of urea in the state, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said BJP leaders would now court arrest seeking adequate supply of fertiliser to farmers.
Chouhan, who is BJP's national vice president, alleged that the Kamal Nath government's act of filing a case against the MLA shows that it was trying to muzzle people's voice.
"Our MLA from Naryaoli (Sagar district), Pradeep Laria, staged a dharna along with farmers on Tuesday, demanding that farmers be given urea. But instead of providing urea to farmers, a case was registered against him," Chouhan said.
"This is the state government's attempt to muzzle the voice of an elected representative. Now, we (BJP leaders) will also go along with Laria to court arrest. Give urea to farmers or arrest us," he said.
The ruling Congress, however, said that the case against Laria was registered as his protest on the road inconvenienced scores of commuters for two hours.
"We welcome if Chouhan courts arrest. But, he should court arrest along with BJP MPs and MLAs to protest against the Centre, which has reduced the quota of urea for Madhya Pradesh from 18 metric tonnes to 15.40 metric tonnes despite repeated demand to meet out the state's requirements," said Narendra Saluja, coordinator of the state Congress Media Cell.
State Agriculture Minister Sachin Yadav claimed that the state government has supplied more urea this year as compared to last year when BJP was in power in Madhya Pradesh.
"I want to assure the farmers that there will be no shortage of urea. As compared to October and November last year, we have supplied 1.20 metric tonnes more in the corresponding period this year," he said.
According to the minister, the state government was planning to provide two lakh metric tonnes of urea by next week.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)