An order to ban cellphones Inside the garbhgriha or sanctum sanctorum of the famous Mahakal Temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain has stoked a political controversy, with the Congress alleging the move is aimed at blunting a visit planned by party leader Rahul Gandhi early next month.
The Ujjain District Collector Ashish Singh, who captains the temple’s management committee said a slew of decisions that were taken recently by the committee in consultation with priests, included banning cellphones inside the garbhgriha, as many devotees have complained about those filming social media videos inside.
However, former minister and senior Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma said, “This new development exposes the real mindset of the BJP and the manner in which their leaders are scared with our leader’s rising popularity. But this will neither have any effect on Rahul Gandhi nor the Congress.”
The ruling BJP denied any links between the decision to ban mobile phones and Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the temple.
Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, “The decision has not been taken by the government. The ban has been imposed by the administrative committee of the temple. It’s wrong to derive political meaning from it.”
The Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi, which was earlier slated to enter Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra on Sunday night, has been pushed back to Wednesday morning, as the party MP will visit Gujarat to campaign for the assembly polls on Monday and Tuesday.
During the course of the around fortnight-long yatra in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa-Nimar region, covering six districts and 25-30 assembly constituencies of the state’s South West and West, Rahul Gandhi will offer prayers at the Omkareshwar Temple in Khandwa district this month and later at the Mahakal Temple in Ujjain in the first week of December.
In recent times, several videos by young visitors – including one by two girls – shot using cellphones in the sanctum sanctorum and subsequently mixed with Bollywood songs, before being posted on social media, have triggered controversy.
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