Meet Computer Baba and 4 Other Seers Who Got Mantri Status in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday decided to accord five seers the status of Ministers of State (MoS) and ended up plunging into an outrage by opposition parties, who called the move a “political gimmick” ahead of the state Assembly elections.
Computer Baba (R) with Pt Yogendra Mahant (second from left) and others in Madhya Pradesh. (TV grab)
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday decided to accord five seers the status of Ministers of State (MoS) and ended up plunging into an outrage by opposition parties, who called the move a “political gimmick” ahead of the state Assembly elections. The sudden move in the election year dominated the headlines, but who are these five men who have caused a storm in Madhya Pradesh politics?
Not ‘Computer Baba’, his real name is Namdevdas Tyagi. The seer derives his name from his favourite gadget, which is a laptop that he carries with him all the time. In 1998, when Information Technology started booming in India, a senior saint in Narsinghpur, impressed with Tyagi’s interest in gadgets and technology, named Tyagi ‘Computer Baba’. His FB page has over 11,000 followers. He is associated with the Digambar Akhara as ‘Terah Bhai Tyagi’. Interestingly, he was one of the ticket seekers at AAP’s doorsteps ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections who did not oblige him. He even spoke openly against BJP and RSS while seeking a ticket from AAP. In 2014, he managed to secure permission to land his chopper on the banks of Narmada to take a dip during the Kumbh Mela.
A stylish spiritual guru, Bhayyuji Maharaj’s list of followers is spread across the film industry, politics and corporate world. The illustrious list of his followers include former President of India, Pratibha Patil, Shiv Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray, MNS supremo, Raj Thackaray, Lata Mangeshkar, film actor Milind Gunaji and others. After completing his education in Mumbai, Uday Singh Deshmukh aka Bhayyuji Maharaj took up a job while also modelling for noted apparel brands. However, he soon shunned the glamour world and devoted his life to the deprived sections and established the Satguru Datt religious and charitable trust. There were some controversy surrounding him in the past but he rose to prominence during Anna Hazare’s agitation in 2011. He would sit on protests along with Hazare, demanding the Lokpal Bill. Known for his swanky ashrams, Bhayyuji Maharaj funds education of the deprived children in several parts of the state.
Pt Yogendra Mahant
Mahant, who lives in Indore, often finds himself at loggerheads with the state government over issues faced by the saints as he did during the Ujjain Simhastha in 2016 over the water quality of River Kshipra. Some years ago, he staged a saints’ dharna at Indore’s landmark Rajwada. He has been flaying state government over river conservation for quite some time. Though he is a close aide of former Congress MLA Satyanarayan Patel, he has now joined the BJP and aspires for an Assembly ticket from Indore. On Wednesday, he rejected talks of his affiliation to Congress. He is closely associated with ‘Computer Baba’ and they had collectively threatened the Madhy Pradesh government of exposing Narmada Yatra ghotala with a Rath Yatra.
A low-profile seer, Narmadanand Maharaj is part of Madhya Pradesh government-appointed special committee to oversee Narmada conservation. A devotee of Hanuman, he is known for organizing religious rallies and functions on Hindu festivals.
Hariharanand Maharaj was associated with the Namami Narmade Narmada Seva Yatra of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan as it started in Amarkantak in May 2017. The seer linked with Narmada conservation has his ashram in Amarkantak. He is also part of the Narmada Conservation Committee.
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