Balaghat: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh yesterday challenged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for an open debate on the issue of development of the state and the "problems" faced by the people.
"I challenge Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for an open debate on development of the state as well as on the problems faced by the people of the state," Digvijay said at the party's third maha-sammelan (grand convention) organised at the tribal-dominated Balaghat.
Digvijay, who was Madhya Pradesh chief minister for 10 years till 2003, said his party (Congress) always stood with the poor, Dalits, tribals and the oppressed class, "while the BJP was helping those who are rich".
He said if Congress is voted back to power in the state after the next assembly polls, it would waive agriculture loan up to Rs 51,000.
"We will offer equal pay for equal work for shikshakarmis (temporary and contract school teachers). Electricity bills of those whose power connections were snapped during the BJP rule due to various reasons, would also be waived," he said.
State Congress chief Kantilal Bhuria alleged around 23,000 ration shops under the PDS system, out of a total 25,000 in the State, had been alloted to BJP workers.
"They are selling the ration meant for poor in black," he said.
Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath alleged Chouhan was not providing any employment opportunities to the youths in the state.
"Contrary to the state government claims, no new industries came up here. Instead, the old industries are closing down. This is happening due to the wrong industrial policy of the BJP government," Nath said.
"As compared to the erstwhile Congress government, BJP government received five times more the funds. But nobody knew where this money has gone. Had this money been spent on development, the condition of the state would have been different," the minister said.