When you are a part of the ruling party even a wildlife sanctuary is not out of bounds for holding a political gathering.
As loudspeakers blared for hours,over 100 members of the BJPs Ladli Laxmi Yojana Prakoshta met at Chidikho Sanctuary in Narsinghgarh on Wednesday. The forest department not only looked the other way but also facilitated parking of vehicles,without charging any fee for most of them.
We were looking for a place close to the nature because we often meet in Bhopal,which is noisy, said the cells state chief Seema Singh,finding nothing wrong in holding a meet in a prohibited place. How could it be illegal when everybody knew that we were preparing for it for more than a month, she reasoned when told that no permission had been taken.
Even if they had asked we would not have given permission, said DFO (Rajgarh) K P Bangar.
Ladli Laxmi is a pet scheme of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who makes it a point to mention it in all his public meetings.
Singhs cell has been given the task of enrolling one lakh beneficiaries of the scheme as BJP members.
Beneficiaries of government schemes are persuaded to join the BJP at Hitgrahi Sammelan that are often organised in the state.
The sanctuary meet involved office-bearers of six districts that make Bhopal division and resolved to bring more and more people to the party fold. Besides office-bearers about 50 beneficiaries were also present.
Bioara Congress MLA Purushottam Dangi alleged that no money was charged from any of the vehicles that had BJP flags.
It was a blatant misuse of power, he alleged.
While the local forest staff admitted that no money was charged,Bangar insisted that the vehicles of only public representatives were let in free because protocol demanded it.