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Babas given MoS status in Madhya Pradesh: Congress accuses BJP of political gimmick, CM Chouhan defends decision

Computer Baba, Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, Narmadanandji, Hariharanandji and Pt Yogendra Mahant were given 'Minister of State' (MoS) status on Tuesday.

Retirement age of Madhya Pradesh govt employees raised to 62 years MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.(Source: File)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who accorded Minister of State (MoS) status to five Hindu religious leaders on Wednesday said that the state government has attempted to bring different sections of the society to work for the people. “We want every section of the society to work towards development and welfare of people and that is why we have attempted to bring together each section of the society,” the CM told reporters.

Computer Baba, Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, Narmadanandji, Hariharanandji and Pt Yogendra Mahant were given ‘Minister of State’ (MoS) status on Tuesday. All the five religious leaders were earlier appointed to a committee set up to create awareness about tree plantation, water conservation and cleanliness along the Narmada.

As members of the committee, they have been given the MoS status, a General Administration Department’s official said. They were included in the group last month.

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Swami Namdev Tyagi is also called as Computer Baba (ANI)Interestingly, Computer Baba and Yogendra Mahant who were supposed to lead the ‘Narmada Ghotala Rath Yatra’ to expose an alleged scam in planting of saplings on the banks of the Narmada river and demand a ban on illegal sand mining, today junked the protest. Saying that the campaign was cancelled as the state government fulfilled their demand to set up a panel for the river conservation, Computer Baba said, “Now why would we take out the yatra?” He also thanked the government “for showing trust in sadhu community” and added that they would now work in tandem with the government, reported ANI.

The Congress, meanwhile, dubbed the decision of the government as an attempt to exploit the respect these religious leaders enjoy in the society. “This shows weakness of Chouhan (ahead of the polls)… He thinks they can win election, which seems impossible now, relying on the saffron-clad religious leaders,” PTI quoted Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar as saying. He also hit out at the saints, asking them to relinquish their roles as monks and hermits and instead get back to household activities.

Read | Computer Baba, among five, granted Minister of State status in Madhya Pradesh: Who are they?

“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 with the river banks) as claimed by the CM,” said Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi.

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BJP, meanwhile, accused the Opposition of disliking anything related to saints. “Indian culture has always respected saints. Ministry has not been given to cons and thugs but saints. I applaud Shivraj Singh Chouhgovernmentemt and condemn Congress for opposing it,” BJP leader Uma Bharti told ANI defending the Madhya Pradesh government.

“Saints and seers were accorded the MoS status to make their work of environment and river conservation easy. The saints were roped in for the Narmada conservation work to ensure public participation,” MP BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said.

(With inputs from agencies)

First published on: 04-04-2018 at 07:11:20 pm
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