Conducting pilgrimages for devotees not the govt's job, says Madhya Pradesh Minister Govind Singh

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Feb 15 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Minister and Congress leader Govind Singh said that the 'Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojna' should be scrapped as it was not the government's job to conduct religious pilgrimages.

"Conducting religious pilgrimages is not the government's job, although no decision on it has been taken by the government, but it is my personal opinion. Giving facilities to devotees, helping them is alright but organising pilgrimages on government funds is not correct as per me. The pilgrimage should be conducted on the money earned by the people themselves," Singh told ANI here.

The issue came under the spotlight after the Madhya Pradesh government cancelled the five state sponsored pilgrimages for at least 4000 old age residents of the state, just days before the proposed religious trip to Vaishno Devi, Kashi, Dwarka and Rameshwaram was to begin on February 15.

Singh, however, further added that the funds which are saved can be better utilized in education, healthcare and other sectors for the betterment of all people of the state.

On the other hand, BJP leader and MLA Vishwas Sarang strongly objected to the statements by the Congress leader and urged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath to clarify the party and government's stance on the issue.

"It is a very unfortunate statement, on one hand, Congress government is making tall claims about organising IFFA Awards and their minister says that the pilgrimages should be stopped. The BJP government had started this scheme to enable poor people to visit pilgrim sites in the country. The worst part is that he has made a mockery of the people's sentiments," Sarang told ANI.

"Kamal Nath should come forward and clarify whether it is the minister's personal opinion or the statement of the government and the Congress party," he added. (ANI)