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Narsinghpur (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Apr. 5 : Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati on Thursday said that the Madhya Pradesh government gave the Minister of State (MoS) rank to five religious leaders for personal gains.

Talking to ANI, Swami Swaroopanand said, "The government gives such a status to people who are respected and who can help people spiritually but the government, for its own selfish motives, is giving it to people who are not even known, this should not be happening."

On April 4, the Madhya Pradesh Government granted Minister of State (MoS) rank to five religious leaders, namely Baba Narmadanand, Baba Hariharanand, Computer Baba, Bhaiyyu Maharaj, and Pandit Yogendra Mahant in the state cabinet.

The Congress Party dubbed the decision as an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to exploit the respect the religious leaders enjoy in society.

"It's a gimmick to score political points. This is also an effort by the Chief Minister [Shivraj Singh Chouhan] to wash off his sins. He ignored conservation of the Narmada," Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.

On March 31, the five leaders were been appointed as members in a special committee formed for raising awareness about water conservation, cleanliness and aforestation near Narmada River.

The order issued by the state secretariat will be effective from the date of its issuance that is April 3

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