The Congress on Saturday released its election manifesto ahead of the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections with several promises. Incidentally one of the promises made in the manifesto is to not allow the RSS 'shakhas' from entering government buildings.
Titled as "Vachan Patra", the manifesto clearly states that if the Congress party comes to power then the 'shakhas' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) would not be allowed inside the government buildings and its premises.
The 112-page manifesto also asserted that the order, issued earlier, to allow government employees to attend the 'shakhas' of the RSS will be revoked.
RSS 'shakhas' refer to the regular gatherings of the RSS workers for meetings, activities, and exercises.
The tiff between the Congress and the RSS has been continuing for several decades now.
Attempting to portray a "soft Hindutva" face with references to Lord Ram, Narmada river and cow urine, the Congress released its manifesto.
The manifesto was released at a press meet in the presence of state Congress president Kamal Nath, state campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
It promises an "adhyatmik vibhag" (spiritual department) in the state, as well as plans to promote the Sanskrit language, speaks of developing the "Ram path" -- a mythical route taken by Lord Ram during his 14-year exile -- and the commercial production of 'gaumutra' (cow urine) and 'kanda' (cow dung cakes).
The manifesto talks of setting up 'gaushalas' (cowshed) in every village panchayat and making arrangements for the upkeep of injured cows.
It also states a host of measures for the conservation of the Narmada that is considered holy by the Hindus. The party said it would develop religious places along the river at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, besides enacting the "Maa Narmada Nyas Adhiniyam" for its conservation. The river has been at the centre of the state politics for a long time now, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party organising a "Narmada Sewa Yatra" earlier and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh carrying out a 3,500-kilometre 'parikrama' (circumambulation) of the river by foot.
The Madhya Pradesh polls is scheduled to take place on November 28. The counting of the votes will take place on December 11.