Madhya Pradesh: More trouble for Shivraj govt, irked sadhus decide to go against BJP
In MP, several sadhus and sants have entered the electoral battle. Computer baba, who recently left the post of a minister in the Shivraj govt, has rebelled against the CM
In the electoral arena of Madhya Pradesh, there is obviously a flood of political parties which are formed at the time of elections, but this time the sadhus and sants have also forayed into the political battle. The ambitions of sadhus are on a surge after Yogi Adityanath was made CM in Uttar Pradesh, the importance Paripurnanad is accorded in Telangana and recent appointment of five sadhus in the cabinet of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh.
Sadhvi Uma Bharti has also been the Chief Minister for a few months in the state but during her stint, no sadhus were able to make it to the Assembly.
Interestingly, BJP has not given any special consideration to the sadhus in the upcoming assembly election, and as a result they have decided to float their own party. Historically, none of the sadhus have been elected through elections, so it remains to be seen what this year’s Assembly elections will hold for them.
Computer baba is organising anti-Shivraj campaigns across the state. Thousands of people have been gathering to hear his’ Mann ki baat’ and it is preparing the ground against the BJP government.
It’s not only the Computer baba, but also the legendary Devkinkan Thakur and Pandokhar sarkar, famously known as Gursharan Maharaj, have been campaigning to overthrow the BJP government.
Devkinden Thakur has announced the 'Sarva Samaj Kalyan Party' and has announced that his party will fight elections on all 230 assembly seats in the state. After the amendment in the SC-ST Act, the national president of the Akhand Bharat Mission Devkinandan Thakur, who has been vocal against the government, said, "Since when have we been asking to build the Ram temple, BJP has not built the temple, but instead brought the SC-ST Atrocities Prevention Act. The government has neither abolished Article 370 nor cow slaughter.
The Pandokhar sarkar has also announced the new political party 'Sanjhi Virasat Party'. He pointed out that his party will field candidates in more than 50 Vidhan Sabha seats in the state. In the remaining seats, the party will support like-minded parties. It must also be remembered that Pandokhar Sarkar has gone against the Shivraj's government’s ignorance towards sadhus and government’s move on the SC-ST Act.
Why are sants foraying into politics?
For the first time in Madhya Pradesh, sants are intervening into politics on such a large scale. Political ambitions have also come to the fore after they were invited to the cabinet by the BJP government.
Indeed, after seeing the political rise of Sadhvi Uma Bharti, Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sakshi Maharaj and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, sadhus also seem keen to contest. In April this year Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan give wings to the ambitions of the sants in the state by giving five of them, including Bhayyaji Maharaj, the status of Minister of State.
Among the saints who were given the status of the Minister were Narmadanada, Hariharananda, Computer Baba, Bhayyaji Maharaj and Yogendra Mahant. After this move, several sants have demanded tickets from BJP
Among these saints, Saint Ravinath Mahiwal of Raisen district, Baba Avadheshpuri of Ujjain district and Sant Madan Mohan Khadeshwari Maharaj of Seoni district are prominent among those who sought ticket from BJP. All these sadhus have also threatened to contest from the Congress or as independents, if they did not get tickets from BJP.
What effect will sadhus have on the elections?
Almost all the sadhus who forayed directly or indirectly into the state assembly elections are angry with the government's stand on either the SC-ST Act or the reservation issue. Simultaneously, many sadhus have entered the fray citing the Narmada scam during the BJP rule and on the issue of illegal mining in Narmada.
The only thing that is clear is that almost all saints who are in the electoral battle are are upset with the BJP. So, this means that BJP votes are likely to be dented if these sants enter politics. These sadhus may not be in any government, but their presence in the electoral battle will cut through BJP's upper caste bank handing them severe losses.