Ahead of Madhya Pradesh election 2018, BJP government accords MoS rank to 5 religious leaders, Congress flays move

By: | Updated: April 4, 2018 8:56 AM

Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls later this year. The BJP is in power from last 15 years. While the BJP faces anti-incumbency, the opposition Congress sees this as an opportunity to snatch the power from saffron party.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP, Madhya Pradesh, Congress, Madhya Pradesh electionsShivraj Singh Chouhan government on Tuesday accorded MoS status to five religious personalities

New equations are taking shape in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh as the state heads for assembly elections later this year. The BJP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday granted ministerial rank to five religious and spiritual figures, according to a report by The Indian Express. They are Baba Narmadanand, Baba Hariharanand, Computer Baba, Bhaiyyu Maharaj, and Pandit Yogenda Mahant. As per the order of the General Administration Department, the government has appointed them to a committee set up to create awareness about tree plantation, water conservation and cleanliness along the Narmada river.

The order said that they have been accorded the Minister of State (MoS) rank. The order dated March 31 carries a sign of Additional Secretary KK Katiya.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has criticised the ruling party for its move and termed it a gimmick to gain political mileage ahead of the polls. Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said that the decision is an attempt by Chief Minister to wash off his sins. He said that the state government has misled the people in the name of Narmada conservation. Chaturvedi added that the decision exploits the respect these religious figures they enjoy in the society. He urged all the religious personalities to assess the government’s works and verify whether the Chouhan government has planted six crore sapling along the banks of Narmada river.

Defending the government’s decision, state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said that saints and seers were accorded the ministerial rank in order to recognise their efforts in preserving the environment and river. He said that the decision will ensure public participation in conserving the Narmada river. Agrawal also lashed out at the Congress, saying the opposition party dislikes anything related to saints.

Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls later this year. The BJP is in power from last 15 years. While the BJP faces anti-incumbency, the opposition Congress sees this as an opportunity to snatch the power from saffron party. The Congress has already decided that it will campaign aggressively in the country’s second-largest state in terms area to throw the BJP out of power. Earlier, Congress’ state unit president Arun Yadav had said that party leaders will highlight the failures of the BJP government it made during its regime and reach put to people to gain their faith. The elections will be crucial for both the parties as it will also set the tone for next year’s general elections.

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