The government of Madhya Pradesh, led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has announced the constitution of a Welfare Board for Brahmins and has given more power to temples over their own land. The move is seen as an attempt to woo Brahmin voters ahead of the state’s assembly elections, as Brahmins constitute only 5 to 6 per cent of the electorate. However, the move may have some significance in certain areas, such as the Vindhya region, where the upper castes, including Brahmins, comprise a larger portion of the population. The BJP won 24 out of 30 seats in the Vindhya region in 2018, up from 17 in 2013, but the emergence of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and a new party floated by MLA Narayan Tripathi may pose a challenge to the BJP’s hold in the region. The Congress has criticized the BJP move, saying that the Chief Minister is making announcements to woo Brahmins after neglecting them for 18 years. The BJP has defended its move and urged the Congress to answer for the condition of temples during their tenure.
“Let the Congress makes allegations but they should first answer for the condition of the temples during their tenure. They should answer for the Ramvan Path Gaman,” he added
Rahul Kothari, a BJP leader, said that the government’s move to form a welfare board for Brahmins and give temples more power over their own land should not be viewed solely from the perspective of elections or votes. He also criticized the Congress party and asked them to answer for the condition of the temples during their tenure and the Ramvan Path Gaman issue. The Congress party has accused the BJP of making these announcements to woo Brahmin voters ahead of the assembly elections.