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Returning to 'Soft Hindutva' with Kamal Nath for 2023 MP Polls, Here's Congress's 'Ram Navami' Directive

By: Manoj Sharma

News18.com

Last Updated: April 06, 2022, 12:00 IST

Bhopal

The Congress party has decided tgo fight the 2023 Madhya Pradesh polls under the leadership of Kamal Nath. (File photo/News18)

The Congress party has decided tgo fight the 2023 Madhya Pradesh polls under the leadership of Kamal Nath. (File photo/News18)

In the backdrop of Congress going ahead with the 'soft Hindutva' pitch with its decision to fight the 2023 MP polls under Kamal Nath's leadership, fresh dissent has cropped up in the party over its directive asking workers to celebrate Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti

With the Congress deciding to fight the 2023 Madhya Pradesh Assembly election under the leadership of its veteran leader Kamal Nath, the party seems to have returned to its tried and tested ‘soft Hindutva’ policy, much like what was seen in the 2018 state polls for which the grand old party had talked about building gaushalas in every village and developing Hindu pilgrimage centres in the state in its manifesto.

However, it is now an uncommon sight for the Congress to do something and not have discord crop up within it.

On Monday, the Congress unanimously decided to go into 2023 assembly polls under Nath, who had steered the party to power in 2018. However, as was the case under Nath last time, the party is set to bare its ‘soft Hindutva’ pitch and ongoing Navratri festival looks like a perfect platform for the same.

ALSO READ: MP Elections 2023: As Congress Fights to Make a Comeback, Kamal Nath Takes the Front Seat

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Through an official order dated April 2, the party urged the its workers and leaders to hold Ram Katha Vachan [Ram Katha recital], Ramlila [dramatic re-enactment of the Ramayana epic] and lord Ram’s puja on Ram Navami (April 10). The party has also asked its workers to hold recital of Hanuman Chalisa and Sundarkand on Hanuman Jayanti on April 16.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and party’s state president Kamal Nath will be offering a greeting message on the occasion of Ram Navami and will be performing puja in Chhindwara, his home town, on Hanuman Jayanti. Nath is an ardent Hanuman devotee had even got a grand 101.8-foot Hanuman statue installed in Chhindwara years ago.

Meanwhile, as what now looks like a customary tradition in Congress, voices of dissent have surfaced within the party on these plans.

ALSO READ: With Eye on 2023 Madhya Pradesh Elections, No Fresh Tax in Rs 2.79-Lakh-Crore State Budget

Quite known for his candid views, party MLA and the member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Arif Masood, has openly criticised the party’s move saying its unbecoming for a political party to issue orders of holding religious festivals. “Such letters put us in a dock," said Masood, adding the letter mentioned Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti but chose to ignore mention of the month of Ramzan.

“You skipped Ambedkar Jayanti, you skipped Gangaur and also Good Friday," added the firebrand MLA who is known for being vocal on religious issues.

“Sarva Dharma Sambhav [religious equality], the basic issue on which we are having a fight with the opposition party [BJP] has been left by you [the party]. This is the sentiment people like about the party," Arif Masood added.

“Special pujas should be done but none will be doing this on your request," said the MLA who claimed that he hasn’t no issues with the leadership of Kamal Nath but he was speaking the truth. “We are taking along every section so such letters aren’t proper. How can we leave Baba Saheb Ambedkar," Masood said.

He went on to say that by issuing such orders, the party is offering the BJP a chance to corner them, adding that the Congress party should be sticking to its own principles.

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first published:April 06, 2022, 08:35 IST
last updated:April 06, 2022, 12:00 IST