Barmer Congress MLA’s presence at right-wing event sparks controversyjaipur Updated: Mar 27, 2018 22:32 IST
Barmer MLA Mevaram Jain ( 2nd from right, in white dress) with RSS leaders and BJP district president Jalam Singh Rawlot.(HT Photo)
The presence of a Congress MLA at an event organised by the Ram Navami Mahotsav Samiti — a body formed by right-wing outfits, including the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal — has sparked a controversy in political circles.
Barmer MLA Mevaram Jain’s presence at the function on the occasion of Ram Navmi has set off a buzz in the state political circles.
Apart from VHP leaders, BJP district president Jalam Singh Rawlot was present at the function.
Justifying himself, Jain said he had taken part in a Ram Navmi function and not any right-wing event.
Jain, who belongs to a minority community, said Lord Ram is worshipped by all Hindus, then how can any outfit stake their claim on him. “We (Congressmen) participate in Eid celebrations, then why are we hesitating in joining Hindu functions? I have asked other Congress leaders to take part in such programmes. Congress president Rahul Gandhi visits temples and we should follow him.”
Contrary to Jain’s claim, Congress district president Fatah Khan objected to the MLA’s presence at the function. He said the Congress is not against Hindus or any other religion. He added that they if Jain had joined a Ram Navmi programme, there would have been no problem, but he should have avoided being present at a VHP programme.
Khan said that it’s a matter of ideological difference. “The Congress has always opposed RSS’ ideology. So he cannot justify going against the party line by attending such programmes.”
During the last assembly elections, despite the Narendra Modi wave, Jain had been able to win the seat among 21 Congress candidates out of total 200 candidates in the state. This time, too, he sees himself as a strong contender for the next assembly elections. For the last few months, more and more candidates have been lobbying for the assembly ticket. This incident has given such leaders a chance to corner Jain.
Ruparam Saharan, district president ‘Kisaan Congress’ —hopeful from the Barmer assembly seat —said that this demoralises party workers. “On the one hand the Congress is condemning RSS ideology and on the other senior party leaders are joining them, how can it be justified,” questioned Saharan.