A grand temple of Saint Ravidas, the social reformer of the Bhakti movement era, will be constructed in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar at a cost of ₹100 crore, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday.
The announcement was made in Saint Ravidas Mahakumbh organised in Sagar, where hundreds of members from scheduled caste community participated in the programme along with followers of Saint Ravidas.The 15th century poet-saint is hugely popular among Dalits.
“The land has been identified in Makronia in Sagar district. All the teachings of Ravidasji will be engraved in the temple. A community hall will also be developed,” the chief minister said.
He also announced that the income limit to give scholarship to the scheduled caste students will be increased from ₹6 lakh to ₹8 lakh. Chouhan announced that 20% land in industrial areas will be reserved for the entrepreneurs of scheduled caste communities.
“The son and daughters of scheduled castes, who want to start their own business and want to set up factories, will be provided land from 20% reserved plots in every industrial area,” he said.
The chief minister also targeted former chief minister Kamal Nath, saying the Congress organised programmes for upliftment of SCs only for political mileage.
“A local man Dhanprasad Ahirwar was murdered here (Sagar). The accused was not arrested by the police. I was not the chief minister at that time. I staged protest but Kamal Nath didn’t do anything. I am asking questions about unfulfilled promises to people? How they were cheated for votes. He also organised Ravidas Kumbh. But, did he welcome the saint? Did he give any respect to the saint? These billionaires, trillionaires… Where will they bow down before the saints. Kamal Nath insulted the saints,” he said.
However, MP Congress spokesperson KK Mishra said, “CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan (should) first answer how atrocities against scheduled caste has increased in MP. The BJP government has failed to provide security to the scheduled caste community in MP and now they are making poll promises.”
(With inputs from Anupam Pateriya from Sagar)