Minister says the Congress will form government in MP and Chhattisgarh

OUR STAFF REPORTER BHOPAL

Union minister of state for agriculture and food processing Charan Das Mahant said on Saturday that despite shrinking o

f farmland, wheat production has gone up in Madhya Pradesh.

Addressing a press meet under the aegis of the central press club, he said the Congress would win the next assembly elections both in MP and Chhatisgarh which the party lost because of internal squabbles.

Mahant said he did not want to sift through the statistics of agriculture output.

” Similarly, paddy yield, too, has shot up in Chhattisgarh despite shrinking of agricultural land,” he added.

While he said Anna Hazares agitation is unjust, he made it clear that in the recent central cabinet shakeup, the state has incurred a heavy loss.

Its two Central ministers including Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav lost their portfolios.

He assured that as he had a long relationship with the state, he would try to fill in the void.

He said the Chhattisgarh government failed to contain the naxal problem, which according to him, is the result of poverty.

When asked to comment on naxal problem in Chhattisgarh, Mahant said the BJP- led Chhattisgarh government was not able to cope up with the naxal problem in an efficient manner, as incidents of violence increased.

” Its very unfortunate that naxals have spread their tentacles to Raipur,” he said.

He further said from during the past six years, the Chhattisgarh government had not purchased necessary equipment to combat the naxal menace.

He laid stress on the need for dialogues with naxals and said if needed be, he would not hesitate in talking to them.

He said the number of poor people also increased in Chhattisgarh.

Replying to a question regarding Anna Hazares proposed agitation, Mahant said the stir was not justified.

In a lighter vein, he accepted that when he had gone to Chhattisgarh, he was called as non- resident of Chhattisgarh and it hurt him.

Claiming that he had an emotional bond with Bhopal, he added he is not opposed to being called an adopted son of the late Arjun Singh, as his politically birth took place at the bungalow of Singh.

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