These 'godmen' are gearing up to contest Madhya Pradesh polls
Religious leaders in Madhya Pradesh are preparing to jump into the political fray and contest the state Assembly polls due later this year.
This comes against the backdrop of the state government according the Minister of State (MoS) status to five such "godmen" in April.
Some religious leaders are ready to contest as Independents if no political party offers them tickets.
MP Assembly polls: Godmen ready to fight battle
Will contest polls if MP CM Chouhan asks: Namdev Tyagi
Swami Namdev Tyagi, popularly known as "Computer Baba" by his followers, who was accorded the MoS status in April this year, said he will fight the polls only if MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan asks him to do so.
However, a source close to Tyagi claimed that he is doing hectic lobbying to contest the election from Indore.
Tyagi had announced to take out 'Narmada Ghotala Rath Yatra'
Tyagi had announced to take out "Narmada Ghotala Rath Yatra" in April to expose the alleged scam in planting saplings on the banks of Narmada river and to demand a ban on illegal sand mining. But soon after getting MoS status, he canceled the campaign.
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Baba Avdeshpuri wants to enter electoral fray from Ujjain
Baba Avdeshpuri (47), who holds a doctorate degree in "Ram Charit Manas", is inclined to enter the electoral fray from Ujjain district on BJP's ticket.
But, Avdeshpuri said he wasn't going to put pressure on the BJP to give him the ticket.
"So, even if the BJP doesn't give me a ticket, I am prepared to contest as an Independent candidate," he said.
Maharaj Khadeshwari expressed his willingness to contest from Keolari seat
Religious leader Maharaj Madan Mohan Khadeshwari, 45, also expressed his willingness to contest from Keolari seat in Seoni district as a BJP candidate.
"If the BJP doesn't give me a ticket, I am going to fight as an Independent. I am 101% sure of my victory. I have been tirelessly working for the people of Seoni for the last 30 years," he said.
Ravinath Mahiwale wants to contest election from Udaipura Assembly seat
Yogi Ravinath Mahiwale from Raisen district wants to contest election from Udaipura Assembly seat.
"Come what may, I am going to contest the election on 'Save Narmada' plank as the river is being ruined due to illegal sand mining," the 42-year-old religious leader said.
Mahiwale said that he won't mind contesting from Congress's seat if the BJP doesn't field him.
Mahant Pratap Giri wants to contest from Silwani seat
Similarly, Mahant Pratap Giri, 35, also wants to contest from Silwani seat in Raisen.
He said if the BJP does not field him, he would contest as an Independent.
"I am running a campaign against pictures of Gods and Goddesses being used for commercial products. I will fight the election to serve people. Serving people is like serving God," he added.
Religious leaders who got MoS status in April
In April, the BJP government in MP had accorded the MoS status to five Hindu religious leaders, Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Computer Baba, Bhayyu Maharaj, and Pandit Yogendra Mahant.
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