Politics

Chhattisgarh: RSS Praises Baghel's Plan to Purchase Cow Dung After BJP Mocked It

Under the Godhan Nyay Yojana, the state government will purchase cow dung to make organic fertilizer.

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has praised the Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh’s scheme which plans to purchase cow dung from farmers, even as the BJP mocked chief minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Under the Godhan Nyay Yojana, which will be launched on July 21, the state government will purchase cow dung at the rate of Rs 1.50 per kg. The government plans to make organic fertilizer from the dung and then sell it back to farmers.

The BJP responded by taking a swipe at the government, saying instead of helping the educated youth find employment, it is forcing them to collect cow dung.

Former BJP minister Ajay Chandrakar had in fact uploaded a parody audio song on his Twitter handle mocking the scheme.

On Tuesday, a group of RSS members presented an “appreciation letter” to the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, signed by the group’s regional convener Bisraram Yadav.

Referring to Baghel as “our popular chief minister,” the members thanked him for fulfilling one of their demands and raised other demands.

“We had urged the CM to purchase cow urine, encourage industries to manufacture fertilizers from cow dung and urine, impart training and financial assistance to farmers for making organic manure and provide grant for the construction of cattle shelters to livestock owners at their homes,” Sahu, an RSS worker told PTI.

“Since the government has accepted parts of our demands, we wanted to show gratitude and offer some suggestions,” said Subodh Rathi, an RSS member and prant pramukh (regional head) of Gau-Gram Swawalamban Abhiyan, according to the Indian Express.

This has predictably drawn an awkward reaction from the BJP. “The letter was not given from the RSS. The RSS has a lot of wings, and if some individuals want to express their support, it shouldn’t be taken as RSS’s support,” said Raman Singh, a former BJP chief minister of the state.

“It will be wrong to claim that the letter was from RSS. Programmes to strengthen rural economy were always a part of our ideology,” said Prabhat Mishra, an RSS leader.

Those who have drafted the letter called the scheme the “first step” towards making the rural economy dependent on cattle. “It is up to BJP leaders to decide if they want to go against the programme, but our group includes farmers, cattle caretakers and saints who all have their own cattle,” added Rathi.

The Congress has also questioned the RSS’s praise, accusing it of trying to appropriate credit for the scheme. “They are feeling left behind politically. Since this scheme is getting appreciation from every section of the society, they want to show they are the champions of the cause,” said Baghel.