In MP’s Indore, Gangajal bottles is Congress’s counter to sanatana dharma barbs
MP Congress leader Himanshu Yadav said the Gangajal “was to signify Congress’s stand on Sanatan Dharma”
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Congress will distribute 50,000 bottles of Gangajal (water from the holy Ganges) to voters in Indore when the Jan Akrosh Yatra reaches the city over the next few days, an effort to neutralise the adverse impact of the political row over the Sanatana Dharma, a party leader said on Thursday.
Himanshu Yadav, who heads the MP Congress’s Other Backward Classes cell in the Indore Lok Sabha constituency, said party workers will distribute 10,000 bottles of Gangajal in each of the five assembly segments of Indore when the yatra reaches the city.
“We will distribute pamphlets based on 11 promises of the state Congress president Kamal Nath along with ‘Gangajal’ to at least 10,000 people in each of the five constituencies. The number may be increased subject to availability of funds for the same,” Himanshu Yadav said at the party headquarters in Bhopal on Thursday.
The Gangajal, he said, “was to signify Congress’s stand on Sanatan Dharma and to reflect the purity of its promises and guarantees offered to people during the elections”.
Yadav said each one-litre bottle of Gangajal proposed to be sourced from a factory in Haridwar will cost the party ₹9. “We will generate funds from people. The packed bottle is likely to cost less on bulk purchase order,” he added.
The Congress in Madhya Pradesh has been trying to distance itself from the controversy triggered by its ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on September 3 when Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, compared sanatana dharma with diseases such as dengue and malaria and called for its eradication while addressing a conference of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers in Chennai.
The BJP interpreted his remarks as a call for “genocide” of Hindus even as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rejected such allegations, saying Udhayanidhi was speaking against caste practices that were rooted in centuries-old orthodoxy.
Madhya Pradesh Congress media in-charge KK Mishra said the distribution of Gangajal will begin from Indore and may be expanded to cover other parts of the state later. “However, the party leadership will take a call on its distribution in other parts of the state. The decision may be taken in the next few days. This is surely a novel idea of the party workers when we are fighting against the falsehood of the BJP on Sanatan dharma,” Mishra said.
Rajneesh Agrawal, secretary of the MP Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the gimmick won’t make a difference. The Congress and its leadership have already lost credibility and that is why they are trying to use Gangajal in a bid to restore it.
“But the Congress must understand that it can’t cheat Gaay, Ganga aur Janata (Cow, Ganges and people) with their misleading campaign particularly after their misrule for 15 months, and earlier in Madhya Pradesh. In fact, the Congress leaders should take a dip in the Ganges to wash their sins and seek forgiveness from the people for the acts of omission and commission and betraying people in the country during their rule.”