Indore: Two religious leaders among the five, who were given the ‘Minister of State’ (MoS) status yesterday, have cancelled their proposed campaign against the alleged ‘scam’ in the Madhya Pradesh government’s Narmada conservation programme.
As the Assembly elections are slated to be held in November this year, the ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh accorded the MoS status to five Hindu religious leaders – Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Computer Baba, Bhayyu Maharaj and Pandit Yogendra Mahant.
On March 31, the five religious leaders were appointed to a committee set up for the Narmada river conservation project.
For being members of the committee, they have been accorded the MoS status, an official of the General Administration Department said yesterday.
Computer Baba had earlier declared to take out the ‘Narmada Ghotala Rath Yatra’ along with Yogendra Mahant in every district of MP from April 1 to May 15, to get the alleged scam exposed in planting saplings on the banks of the Narmada river and to demand a ban on illegal sand mining.
The publicity material of the proposed campaign was also circulated widely on the social media.
But, MoS Computer Baba today informed that they have cancelled the proposed campaign because the state government has 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 said.
After accepting the government facilities meant for an 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, the convener of the proposed campaign, also said that they cancelled the yatra due to the fact that the state government fulfilled their demand to set up a panel for the river conservation.
On March 31, all these five religious leaders from the state were appointed members of the ‘Janjagrukta Abhiyan Samiti’ (Public Awareness Campaign Committee)- set up for conservation of the Narmada river.
The opposition Congress party of the state yesterday called the decision to appoint them as MoS as the BJP’s attempt to exploit the respect these religious leaders enjoy in the society.
However, the BJP party in the state hit back saying the opposition party disliked anything related to saints.