| Uma Bharti (centre) and Arun Jaitley (right) at Chindwara. (PTI)
Bhopal, April 17: Uma Bharti kicked off her campaign for the chief minister’s chair today by offering a “cake” to Lord Hanuman and releasing an “expose” of the Digvijay Singh government.
Bharti carefully chose as the venue a temple in Chindwara, a Congress citadel represented by Kamal Nath.
The authorities at Jam Samli Hanuman temple, where women are discouraged from offering puja, said Bharti was an exception because she is a Sadhvi.
She also ensured that the “cake” offering on Hanuman Jayanti was made of desi kalakand, not eggs, rum or any other “offensive” ingredient.
Bharti also made a political statement by taking along to the temple a frightened Dalit woman. Dalits, backwards and tribals comprise a majority of the votebank in Madhya Pradesh.
Bharti made all the right moves by visiting the Pitambara Peeth, the seat of Goddess Bagula Mukhi Devi. The Peeth is a favourite religious haunt of her arch rival, Digvijay Singh, who had spent a whole day there doing puja and yagna on April 8.
Later, Bharti set off in an air-conditioned rath, fashioned out of a modern truck. During the Sankalp Yatra, Bharti avoided saffron agenda in favour of issues of governance.
She released a 20-page booklet titled Dhol ka Pol, rubbishing the Digvijay government’s claims of all-round development in the state and its touted emphasis on human resource and people-oriented policies. The booklet quoted facts and figures from the Central Planning Commission to prop its claims.
The booklet blamed the power crisis on faulty transmission and distribution, triggering losses of 51 per cent against the national average of 28 per cent. The government was also accused of failure to use up the Rs 552 crore sanctioned by the Centre for road development.
The government said it would react to the charges after reading the booklet.