MP leaders throng ‘darbars’ of godmen in poll year

Bhopal, Feb 17 (IANS) With almost nine months left for the Assembly elections, key politicians in Madhya Pradesh are now reaching out to self-styled godmen to seek their blessings. Besides this, many politicians are even organising ‘katha vachan’ in their respective constituencies.
State BJP president Vishnu Dutt Sharma visited the ‘darbar’ of Dhirendra Shastri, the 26-year-old Peethadhishwar of Bageshwar Dham, in his home district Chhatarpur on Wednesday.
The young spiritual story-teller, who has been grabbing headlines and prime time space on many TV channels over the last many days, has huge following not only in Bundelkhand region or Madhya Pradesh, but in many parts of the country. He has been in news, owing to his “miraculous powers” which were questioned last month by a Maharashtra-based organisation, Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti.
The BJP leader also met Acharya Balkrishna, the young billionaire businessman and head of Patanjali Ayurveda.
Before Sharma, former Chief Minister and Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath had visited Bageshwar Dham on February 13. During the visit, Nath offered prayers at Bagheshwar Dham and also sought blessings of the shrine’s young Peethadhishwar.
Nath was joined by two other senior state Congress leaders, including ex-minister and close confidant Sajjan Singh Verma (who had recently questioned excessive media coverage of the young godman) and ex-union minister Arun Yadav (who was in news recently for opposing posters projecting Nath as party’s chief ministerial candidate).
However, distancing himself from the godman’s demand of making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, Nath, after coming out of the shrine, had said that India will function as per the Constitution only.
If sources are to be believed then the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be the next big politician, who may visit the Bageshwar Dham and meet the young Peethadhishwar in the coming days.
On Thursday, Chouhan was scheduled to attend a ‘Rudraksha Mahotsva’, at darbar of another famous Hindu religious story-teller and self-proclaimed godman – Pradeep Mishra. However, his visit was cancelled after stamped-like situation emerged at the venue, in which a woman was reportedly killed.
Besides these prominent politicians, many others were also seen making a beeline for the darbar of Dhirendra Shastri or some other self-styled godmen.
In the politics of Madhya Pradesh, there has been a strong presence of ‘Babas’ or Godmen, and even some of them were given cabinet rank in the past.

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