Slamming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for stating that poverty was just a "state of mind," Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said the Congress leadership and Planning Commission should immediately stop making fun of poverty.
"Congress leaders including its president and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Planning Commission should stop making fun of poverty," Chouhan said addressing a rally as a part of his ongoing Janashirwad Yatra at Manawar in Dhar district.
Criticising Rahul for stating in Allahabad that "poverty is just a state of mind," Chouhan said if the Congress can't provide "roti, kapda, makan" (food, clothing and house) to the people, then they have no right to make a mockery of it.
If the poverty is not measured on the basis of these three parameters, then on what basis it can be established? Chouhan asked.
Participating in a discourse in Allahabad on Monday, Rahul had said, "Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty." In this context, Gandhi had cited the example of a poor woman in Amethi, who redeemed her self-esteem by getting associated with self-help group Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana.
However, it was later clarified that Rahul's statement was misreported.
The Madhya Pradesh chief minister also criticised the Congress leaders and Planning Commission for stating that those earning Rs 27 a day cannot be classified as poor in rural areas or one can have full meal for just Rs 15.
Chouhan said that Rahul should show the people how he will have a breakfast in just Rs 27. Strongly condemning the attack on Indian soldiers at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir by the Pakistani forces, Chouhan demanded from the Centre to give a "befitting reply" to the neighbouring country.
He said that Pakistan and China always provoked India and the country should act against them in a firm manner.
The chief minister also blamed the Centre for rising inflation and added that during NDA rule, the cost of a fertiliser bag was Rs 527, but now it has gone up to Rs 1,272 per bag.
The cost of diesel and petrol too is rising, causing lot of hardships to the people.
Chouhan said earlier farmers (in Madhya Pradesh) used to get agriculture loan at 18% interest, but they are getting the same under at 0% interest under the BJP's governance.