BHOPAL: Lord Ram must be in a great fix. For, not only the BJP, which has been invoking the Lord to seek votes for some decades now, but also the Congress are banking on Ram to see them through the ongoing crucial electoral battle in the Bundelkhand region.
Scindia acolyte Govind Singh Rajput, a ministerial colleague of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is in the fray from the Surkhi constituency in the Sagar district. He is seeking votes in the name of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. He wants the people to vote for him as his (new) party has facilitated the construction of a magnificent abode for the Lord at his birthplace. Rajput had walked out of the Congress in March this year along with Scindia and had later resigned from the membership of the state Assembly.
He took out a ‘Ram Shila Yatra’ in the constituency telling the people that the Shilas (bricks) being collected would be used in the under-construction temple at Ayodhya. In a video, he is seen claiming that each vote for him would be like a building block of the grand temple at Ayodhya. Rajput has vowed to carry the bricks to Ayodhya once he wins the bye-polls.
In the neigbouring Chhatarpur district, kathavachak-turned-politician Sadhvi Ram Siya Bharati is promising voters to usher in Ramrajya if voted to victory. She is the candidate of the Congress from the Bada Malhera constituency in the district.
A Congress citadel of yore, Bada Malhera had sent Uma Bharati to the Vidhan Sabha in the 2003 polls. She went to become the chief minister of the state.
Sadhvi Bharati has more than one commonality with Uma Bharati. Like Uma, she is adept in regaling her audience with the tales of the King of Ayodhya and like her, she is also a Lodhi. She is taking on Pradyuman Singh Lodhi, who is seeking election as BJP candidate from the seat he had won in 2018 as a nominee of the Congress.
Pradyuman, who has been rewarded with the chairmanship of the state civil supplies corporation for switching over to BJP, is considered close to Uma Bharti.
The saffron-clad Congress candidate frequently quotes from the Ramcharitmanas to drive home her point. At a recent public meeting, she promised that if elected, she would usher in Ram Rajya in the state. She also branded her opponent Pradyuman Lodhi as the mythological demon Kalnemi. "The voters are Hanumans, who should teach the Kalnemi of the Kaliyug a lesson for ditching them by jumping on to the BJP bandwagon, 15 months after being elected as a Congress MLA," the Sadhvi said.