UJJAIN: While most of the opinion polls predict an edge to the Congress in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the records book of Ujjain shows that the main opposition party in the State did not get a chance to host the major religious congregation Simhastha in the city of Mahakal since 1967.
This analogy becomes interestingly intriguing as the state is all set to elect a new government for five years and Kumbha mela is scheduled to be held in April-May 2028. It is certain that whichever party forms the government will host this Sanatani Mahaparva to be held in April-May 2028, provided it completes its term. If the history and myth of all the Simhastha Mahaparva events held since 1967-68 are to be believed, then BJP’s fortunes may prove to be strong in MP. Simhastha is scheduled for April-May 2028 and the new government formed after the ensuing elections will be governing the state till mid December 2028. Simhastha Kumbh is organised in Ujjain after every 12 years.
Going through the history of all Simhastha Mahaparva held in the last 55 years, it makes it an interesting reading as all five religious congregations were held when the BJP or BJP-supported government was at the helm.
During 1968 Simhastha, there was a Samvid Sarkaar (coalition government) led by Govind Narayan Singh and Virendra Kumar Saklecha of Jan Sangh was deputy-CM. Singh had departed from Congress and formed the Government in the state In 1967, Singh was elected to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly as an Congress candidate but he soon rebelled against Dwarka Prasad Mishra and resigned from the Congress party.
Similarly in 1980, when the Mahakumbh was organised, Janata Party was in power. The next three Mahaparvas in 1992, 2004 and 2016 were organised under the BJP’s reign.
In the ensuing elections, BJP is trying its level best to capitalise on the myth related to hosting Simhastha Mahaparva. Top leaders of the opposition Congress are also not behind. They are continuously demonstrating ‘soft Hindutva’ and frequently visiting Mahakaleshwar seeking blessing of Lord Mahakal.
Another myth associated with Simhastha is that the CM under whose leadership Simhastha was organised had to step down after the Mahaparv. The myth goes back to 1968 Simhastha.
Eleven months after the Sinhastha, the then CM Govind Narayan Singh had to step down on 12 March 1969 following a conflict between Indira and Nehru Congress.
Again in 1980, the preparations for Simhastha were carried out under the leadership of the then CM Sunderlal Patwa who was heading the Janata Party government. When the Simhastha was organised in April, President’s rule was in force in the State. Later Congress came to power.
Again in 1992 Simhastha Mahaparva, Sunderlal Patwa was the CM of the state. After 7 months, the President’s Rule was enforced in the state following demolition of Babri Masjid. Next year in December 1993, Congress formed the government under Digvijaya Singh.
Simhastha 2004 was held when Uma Bharti was heading the BJP-government in the state. A court in Hubli cuts short Bharati's term as CM on August 22, 2004.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan successfully organised Simhastha April-May 2016 but he had to step down as the BJP faced defeat at the hands of Congress in the 2018 Assembly elections.