The Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit has decided to celebrate upcoming Hindu festivals – Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti – publicly and the cadre has been asked to organise religious programmes with large gatherings, it was announced on Sunday.
On Hanuman Jayanti on April 16, the Congress plans to recitations of the “Sundarkand” (a part of the Ram Charitra Manas) and “Hanuman Chalisa”, as per directions issued by the state Congress President and former chief minister Kamal Nath.
The party office on Sunday issued a letter on behalf of Nath, directing party leaders and workers to hold religious programmes on April 10 and April 16 to celebrate the occasion of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, respectively.
“On both these auspicious religious festivals, recitation of Lord Ram Katha, programmes of Ramlila and worship of Lord Ram should be organised. Besides, the recitation of Sundarkand and Hanuman Chalisa should be organised on Hanuman Jayanti,” stated the letter issued by Vice President, Organisation, Chandraprabhash Shekhar.
It said Kamal Nath will issue a message on Ramnavmi and hold a religious programme on Hanuman Jayanti at Chhindwara, his home turf.
Reacting to the Congress’ move, the leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed it “hypocrisy”.
“Those who termed the Lord Ram and Ramsetu imaginary and opposed the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, will now be reciting Hanuman Chalisa for an attempt of political gain. The people know their hypocrisy and can’t be misled,” said BJP spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi.
To this, state Congress General Secretary, Media, K.K. Mishra advised the BJP not to play the politics on the name of Ram and Hanuman, sayhing every individual has the right to pray on their own. “This kind of statement shows the real nature of the BJP. Should I say the BJP celebrates the religious festivities for its political gain? As a leader of a national party, one should think twice before making such a statement,” he said.