Ahead of Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday accorded the ‘Minister of State’ (MoS) status to five Hindu religious leaders.
As per the order of General Administration Department’s Additional Secretary KK Katiya, the MoS status has been accorded to Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Computer Baba, Bhayyu Maharaj and Pandit Yogendra Mahant.
On March 31, these five religious leaders were inducted into to a committee set up for the conservation of the Narmada river.
Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls later this year and the BJP is in power there for 15 years.
The main Opposition, Congress attacked BJP over its decision and dubbed it as a gimmick to score political points.
Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “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.”
State BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said the opposition party dislikes anything related to saints.
“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,” Agrawal said.
(With PTI inputs)