Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's decision to undertake a fast from on Sunday to protest the Centre's alleged neglect of the demands of the state has led to a war of words between the ruling BJP and the Congress.
While the BJP is claiming that the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre was not doing anything to alleviate the suffering of the farmers, some of whom have committed suicide, the main Opposition party has dubbed the fast as a "political gimmick".
Targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, State BJP president Prabhat Jha has said he may have a good understanding of economics, but he seems ignorant about the country's federal structure.
Jha has said that BJP was not in power in Madhya Pradesh due to the mercy of the Congress. The main Opposition party had no right to "humiliate" the people of the state.
While maintaining that the chief minister's fast would not be indefinite, he said that it was only meant to highlight the "step-motherly" treatment being meted out by the Centre to the people of the state.
The Congress, on the other hand, has said that the fast is being undertaken to divert the people's attention from other pressing issues.
"If one wants to take a lesson on how to divert the people's attention, one should attend a class presided by Chouhan," Congress MLA Ajay Singh said, taking potshots at the BJP leader, who in November last, became the first non-Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh to complete five years in office.