All the 34 Congress MLAs staging dharna in MP Assembly went on hunger strike on Thursday to press for acceptance of their demands for hail-hit farmers.
The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, Satyadev Katare, had on Wednesday announced a relay hunger strike by the Congress MLAs and names of seven MLAs who would observe fast on the first day were also announced.
However, on Thursday morning, Katare said that all the Congress MLAs were on hunger strike. Katare was on hunger strike too but said if doctors advised him to give up fasting, he would stick to their advice.
Katare had slipped in the lobby of the House on Wednesday night and sustained injuries on his head. He has not been in best of his health for the past few months.
Home minister Babulal Gaur visited the Congress MLAs in the assembly in the morning. On his return, Gaur said that he had gone to see Katare and he advised him to keep his health in mind while carrying out agitation.
Katare, who came out to interact with the media at 10am, said it had now been decided that all the MLAs would go on fast. He further said rest of the party MLAs, who had not come to attend the one-day special session of the House on Tuesday, had also been asked to report in Bhopal but added that none of them had arrived yet. The Congress has 58 MLAs in the 230-member House.
Congress MLAs had refused to vacate the House after the state assembly was adjourned sine dine on Tuesday after a one-day special session convened to pass the second supplementary budget for the current fiscal.
During the session, a special debate on conditions prevalent in the state following unseasonal rain and hailstorm was also taken up but Congress MLAs were not satisfied with chief minister's reply. They charged the chief minister with not making any concrete promises to the farming community in his reply. The dharna inside the House has continued since.
Some Congress workers were present outside the state assembly to express solidarity with the agitating MLAs of the party. State Congress chief Arun Yadav was also spotted among them in the morning. In the evening, Congress cadres had disappeared after burning the effigy of the chief minister.