Bhopal: The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh Saturday released its manifesto promising measures for the well-being of cows and protection of the Narmada River, similar to what has been mentioned in the Congress' "vachan patra".
The BJP manifesto promised that well-equipped cowsheds would be increased and they would be set up in each division of the state. MP goes to polls on November 28 and counting of votes will take place on December 11.
It also said that a drive would be initiated to protect the holiness and flow of the Narmada river, revered by Hindus. As part of the drive, saplings would be planted along the river to protect its banks, it said.
The ruling party's manifesto also spoke of setting up a managing authority to mitigate the problems faced by temple priests as well as a hike in honorarium for them. Besides, the manifesto also has other sops for temples in the state.
"The BJP has come up with these measures after getting 12,000 suggestions. The party had constituted 24 teams to reach out to them," said senior BJP leader Vikram Verma.
Earlier, the MP government had accorded five religious leaders the rank of minister of state after one of them, Namdev Das Tyagi, popularly known as Computer Baba, threatened a march to expose illegal mining along the Narmada.
However, a month ago, he parted ways with the state government, accusing it of having no respect for the Narmada and failing to check rampant illegal mining along the river.
On November 10, the Congress had released its manifesto with references to Lord Ram, Narmada river and cow urine. It promised a "spiritual department" in the state, as well as plans to promote Sanskrit.
It spoke of developing 'Ram path'-a mythical route taken by Lord Ram during his 14-year exile- in MP's Chitrakoot and the commercial production of 'gaumutra' (cow urine) and 'kanda' (cowdung cakes).
The manifesto also talked of setting up 'gaushalas' (cowshed) in every village panchayat and making arrangements for the upkeep of injured cows.
It had a host of measures for the conservation of the Narmada, including developing religious places along the river at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore as well as enacting the 'Maa Narmada Nyas Adhiniyam' for its conservation.