VHP to launch padayatra demanding 'Hindu Rashtra' in Chhattisgarh, Congress questions motive

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel questioned why did the VHP not carry out the padayatra during the earlier BJP regimes in the state.

Published: 17th February 2023 11:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2023 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

VHP supporters, Vishwa Hindu Parishad

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo| Parveen Negi, EPS)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has announced to launch of a foot march ‘Hindu Swabhiman Jagran Sant Padyatra’ in Chhattisgarh in support of their demand to make India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. The ruling Congress party cited the move as ‘political’ questioning ‘why such a yatra was missing during the earlier 15-year rule of BJP’. 

According to the VHP’s plan, the yatra is set to begin on February 18 and will cover 700 km across Chhattisgarh in a month.

“It will start from four Shaktipeeth located in different areas of the state—Maa Mahamaya, Maa Chandrahasini, Maa Bambleswari and Maa Danteshwari. The yatra will pass through the 33 districts of the state and around 500 saints (priests) are expected to participate," said a VHP functionary.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel responded to the VHP's yatra and asked the participating ‘sadhu-sant’ to include in their itinerary, the temple of Mata Kaushalya (mother of Lord Rama), which his government has taken care of and renovated.

“They should also see the Ram Van Gaman Path (believed to have been undertaken by Ram during his exile) and the nine developed religious spots along this route that the state government has developed," Baghel said as he questioned, "Why did the VHP not carry out the padayatra during the earlier BJP regimes in the state?."

CM Baghel asserted that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is using all means to gain an advantage by activating their frontal organisations in the state but they have not been successful so far. “Now the VHP people along with sadhu-saints are arriving. It’s good. Let them also see our work and achievements," he added.

“This padayatra is not intended for any electoral gain. We will also invite the Congressmen to join the yatra," said Ghanshyam Choudhary, co-convenor of the padayatra.

The Congress party in Chhattisgarh alleged that such religious yatra at the behest of the RSS is based on its policy of “divide and rule” to secure power by spreading hate, violence and religious frenzy.


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