Will Probe Scams Committed in Name of Religion and Narmada, Says Kamal Nath

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday promised to launch an investigation into scams in the name of religion and the Narmada river that allegedly took place during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the state.

Ahead of the Assembly elections last year, the Congress had said that if voted power, it would probe into illegal mining in the Narmada riverbed and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s claim of planting 1 crore saplings in a single day.

Addressing a gathering seers, 'Sant Samagam', in Bhopal, Nath further said that some people claimed to have exclusive rights on religious people during elections and feel uncomfortable when others talk about them. “They felt the same pain when I had built a Hanuman temple in Chhindwara (Nath’s constituency). These people feel pained when we go to temples and meet sadhus,” he said.

He also promised to look into a proposal of offering land for religious purposes and said if land can be allotted for industries, the same can be done for seers as well. Further, he said, “In the last eight months since coming to power, we have showed our policies and intent. We don't believe in publicity as I think that it's a government’s duty to serve the public.” Underlining the importance of Sanatan Dharma, Nath said the country's identity lay in its spirituality.

Led by Computer Baba, chairman of the Nadi Nyas, the event in Bhopal was attended by about 1,000 sadhus, including several religious heads from various parts of the country.

Public Relations Minister PC Sharma also addressed the gathering and talked about the various measures that have been adopted for the community, including tripling of honorarium of temple priests in the state. “The previous government could not do this during its 15 years of rule,” Sharma added.

It was at the same event that senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh brought allegations of rape against saffron-clad men. Singh said these days, people adorning ‘bhagwa’ (saffron)-coloured attire were raping women, even inside temples.