BHOPAL: It will be the Shivlinga Vs Tulsi plant in the upcoming assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.
While the Election Commission is yet to finalize dates for holding the 25 assembly by-polls in the central Indian state, the two major political players – ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have already started warming up on Ground Zero.
One of the 25 seats – the Sanwer-SC seat of Indore district is set to witness an intriguing battle of campaigns by the two parties, which accentuates both parties’ attempts to play the Hindu card for winning the poll.
On the one hand, the ruling BJP has launched ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Tulsi’ campaign by distributing Tulsi saplings (Tusli is considered very sacred plant by Hindus), while on the other hand, the Congress is working on soon launching ‘Har Har Mahadev, Ghar Ghar Mahadev’ campaign by distributing miniature Shivlingas among the electorate of the same constituency reserved for scheduled caste candidates.
While the BJP is all set to field three-time ex-Congress MLA and present minister Tulsiram Silawat (among the Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists 22 former Congress MLAs who scripted fall of Congress government in March), the Congress could possibly field 1998 winner and ex-MP Premchand Guddu.
“We’re not playing any saffron or Hindu card, but only distributing pamphlets containing good work of Modi government over last one year as well as gifting Tulsi sapling, a medicinal plant consuming whose leaves is important for building immunity against the novel Coronavirus. Also, our candidate too is named Tulsi,” said BJP leader and former MLA Rajesh Sonkar who lost from the seat to Tulsiram Silawat in 2018 polls.
“We’ve already distributed 10,000 Tulsi saplings in five mandals of the constituency and target to reach to 30,000 more families in coming days,” added Sonkar.
On the other hand, Congress MLA from Indore-I constituency Sanjay Shukla confirmed about the Har Har Mahadev, Ghar Ghar Mahadev being launched shortly. “It’s being spearheaded by our experienced candidate and ex-MP Premchand Guddu.”
“Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, less number of people are visiting Shiva temples to offer prayers during the ongoing auspicious Shrawan month. Due to this we’ve procured miniature Shivlingas from Haridwar for being distributed among 40,000 families. We’ve already registered around 20,000 families and Shivlingas distribution will begin shortly to enable families to stay safe by worshipping Lord Shiva indoors only,” said Shukla.
Justifying the campaign, Shukla said, “We’re also Hindus, why can’t we distribute Shivlingas to commoners during Shrawan month.”