Cong, BJP vie for cow and Ram in MP

Cong, BJP vie for cow and Ram in MP

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

As electioneering gathers momentum in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the Congress and the BJP seem to be competing to be seen as the more ardent devotee of the holy cow and Lord Rama.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced setting up a Gau Mantralaya (cow ministry) in Madhya Pradesh to serve the cow better. The announcement has come in response to the Congress’ poll promise to build cowsheds in all 23,000-odd village Panchayats in the state.   

Chouhan made the announcement in Khajuraho at a function to give awards to gaushalas (cow sanctuaries).

Referring to the country’s first cow sanctuary established near Susner of Agar district of Malwa region in 2017,  the chief minister said one sanctuary is not enough because the state has a large number of cows.

Madhya Pradesh state Cabinet recently sanctioned Rs 70 crore for its incomplete project of tracing the mythological route of Lord Rama during his 14 years of exile. The Congress had recently announced to undertake a rally (yatra) along the mythical exile-route. The yatra was scheduled to start from September 23. However, it had to be postponed as sants and priests refused to participate in it, citing the commencement of "Pitra Paksha." A fortnight preceding Navratri is considered inauspicious for undertaking any religious work. The party now plans to embark on the proposed yatra after the "Pitra Paksha" is over.

In order to outsmart the Congress on the Ram Van Path Gaman issue, the Shivraj Singh cabinet recently announced to revive the project which was originally conceived in 2004.

Three years later, Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced sanctioning Rs 7 crore for tracking the exile-route from the temple-town of Chitrakoot to Amarkantak, the place of origin of river Narmada in the state. However, it remained in limbo until the Congress last month announced its plan to undertake a procession along the exile route.