Justifying his stand to resort to ‘padyatra´ from Sarni to Pathakheda coal mines in protest against inadequate supply of coal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that he was “constrained” to take such a decision after exhausting all avenues on the issue. “Having exhausted all avenues, I am constrained with a heavy heart to take the matter directly to the court of the people by undertaking a ‘padyatra´ from Sarni to Pathakheda on February 22,” Chouhan said in the letter, copies of which were made available at a press conference in Bopal on Friday.
“I am leaving it to the people of my state to decide how lack of cooperation on the part of the Centre has undermined my state’s march to progress,” the letter said.
“Despite meeting all concerned including the Prime Minister on the issue of inadequate supply of coal for the state’s thermal power plants, nothing has been done by the central leaders in this regard,” the chief minister alleged.
“The prime minister is a good person, but it appears he is under pressure on this issue,” Chouhan said while highlighting that he met him on number of occasions on the issue and despite getting all assurance from him, nothing happened so far in the matter.
To a question, he said if the current trend of treating other party ruled state in a partisan manner continues, then it may trigger feeling of separatism among the people and also damage the federal structure of the country.
“Against the state’s requirement of 17.5 lakh metric tonne, the quota of state was fixed at 13.5 lakh metric tonne by the Centre. Out of this also it was getting just 11 lakh metric tonne resulting in less production of thermal power,” the chief minister said.