Indore: Two religious leaders, who were accorded the Minister of State (MoS) status, cancelled their proposed campaign against the alleged 'scam' in the Madhya Pradesh government's Narmada conservation programme.
The BJP government in MP on Tuesday had given the MoS status to five Hindu religious leaders - Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Computer Baba, Bhayyu Maharaj and Pandit Yogendra Mahant. On March 31, 2018, the five religious leaders were appointed to a committee set up for the Narmada river conservation, PTI reported.
Computer Baba had earlier announced to take out the 'Narmada Ghotala Rath Yatra' along with Yogendra Mahant in every district of MP from April 1 to May 15, to expose the alleged scam in planting saplings on the banks of the Narmada river and to demand a ban on illegal sand mining.
The publicity material of the campaign was also circulated widely on the social media.
However, MoS Computer Baba said on Wednesday that they have cancelled the campaign because the state government had fulfilled their demand to form a committee of saints and seers for protection of the Narmada river. "Now why would we take out the yatra?" he asked.
We thank the govt on behalf of the 'sadhu' community for showing trust in us, we will try our best to work for welfare of the society: Computer Baba, on being granted Minister of State rank by #MadhyaPradesh govt. pic.twitter.com/wfKXmaroGL
— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2018
On accepting the government facilities meant for a MoS despite being a saint, he said, "If we do not get the post and other government facilities, how can we work for the protection of the Narmada." "As a member of the committee, we have to talk to the district collectors and look after other necessary arrangements for the river's conservation. A government status is required for these works," he pointed out.
Yogendra Mahant, who was the convener of the proposed campaign, also said that they had cancelled the yatra as the state government had fulfilled their demand to set up a panel for the river conservation.
Meanwhile, the Congress dubbed the decision as an attempt by the BJP to exploit the respect these religious leaders enjoy in the society.
“It’s a gimmick to score political points. This is also an effort by the Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) to wash off his sins. He ignored conservation of the Narmada. These saints should inspect where the state government has planted six crore saplings (along the river banks) as claimed by the CM,” said Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi.
(With PTI inputs)