9 December 2023
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Senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Kamal Nath on Tuesday enquires whether it was necessary to specify separately that India is a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ given that nearly 82 per cent of Hindus live in the country.

“Globally, the largest Hindu population lives in our country. 82 per cent of Hindus reside here. It is not a debatable issue. It is not something to be specified. These are statistics…What is the need to say it separately?” Nath shot back when reporters sought his comment on spiritual preacher Dhirendra Shastri’s purported demand to make India a Hindu Rashtra.

The spiritual discourse of Shastri, also known as Bageshwar Dham Sarkar, was organised on Nath’s home turf Chhindwara and concluded on Monday.

Nath, a former MP chief minister, alleged the government has failed to prevent atrocities against tribals in Manipur and also in Madhya Pradesh.

“There is a raging dispute between tribals and non-tribals even as the country is going to celebrate World Tribal Day on August 9,” he added.

Nath claimed 15 youths from Anuppur district in MP were thrashed by a private company owner in Gujarat’s Rajkot district on the suspicion of theft.

“They were kept as hostages and four of them sustained serious injuries. A video of atrocities against them also went viral,” he alleged.

Nath asked MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to list steps taken by him so far regarding the “atrocity” committed against tribal youth in Rajkot.

He accused the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of failing to protect tribals in MP and cited certain incidents including the alleged gang rape of two ST girls in Rewa district and firing on a tribal youth in Singrauli district.

Asked about Congress MLA Umang Singhar’s demand for a tribal chief minister, Nath said, “Ultimately, it’s the choice of the people who decide the chief minister and everybody knows this.”

Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled later this year.

Abdul Gh Lone