Express News Service

BHOPAL: The ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ by the ruling BJP — an event aimed at connecting newly-inducted 39 Union ministers — has run into twin controversies in Madhya Pradesh’s saffron citadel Indore.

The last leg of the three-days yatra in the state’s Malwa-Nimar region, saw Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia connect with people and seek their blessings in the city.

But the event ran into not just one, but twin controversies.

In the first incident, senior BJP leader Govind Maloo was pushed away by on-duty cops while he tried to enter the venue of Scindia’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra in the Indore III assembly segment. The constituency is represented by BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s son Akash Vijayvargiya.

The video of the incident not only embarrassed the ruling BJP but also gave the opposition Congress the ideal opportunity to take potshots at the ruling party.

Senior state Congress leaders, KK Mishra and Narendra Saluja tweeted the video of the incident, saying, “This incident marks the beginning of a feudal era in BJP’s politics, where gaddars (traitors) are being worshipped, while loyalists are being humiliated.”

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Even before the controversy could die down, another row erupted over the use of a rented horse having been painted in BJP colours, being used at the same political event. The pictures of the horse having been painted in BJP colours and also bearing the image of the party’s poll symbol Lotus, forming part of Scindia’s procession went viral.

Irked over the incident, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi-headed animal rights NGO ‘People for Animals’ (PFA) local representative Priyanshu Jain submitted a complaint at Indore’s Sanyogitaganj police station.

In the complaint, the PFA representative demanded lodging of FIR under provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, but no case has yet been registered by the police.

According to informed sources in the BJP, the horse painted in the party’s colours and poll symbol was brought by ex municipal councilor Ramdas Garg and formed part of the procession in Chhawani area.

Importantly, in its drive to reach out to the last person, the BJP has embarked upon its Jan Ashirwad Yatra, under which the newly inducted 39 union ministers are connecting with the people and seeking their Ashirwad (Blessings).

The country’s new civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia led the yatra between August 17 and 19 in Dewas, Shajapur, Khargone, and Indore districts of MP’s Malwa-Nimar region.