BJP Ministers Accuse Congress of Instigating Arson in Baloda Bazar Over ‘Jaitkhamb’ Damage

Following the recent Baloda Bazar incident, three BJP ministers in Chhattisgarh have accused the Congress party of orchestrating a conspiracy in response to their defeat in the 2023 Assembly elections. The BJP ministers held a press conference on Tuesday evening, alleging that the Congress party was seeking revenge through this conspiracy. They claimed that this resulted in arson and violence in Baloda Bazar after the damage to the ‘Jaitkhamb’, a significant religious symbol for the Satnami community in Chhattisgarh.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dayaldas Baghel, Sports Minister Tankram Verma, and Health Minister Shyambihari Jaiswal were present at the press conference held at the New Circuit House in the state capital. Minister Baghel alleged that Congress MLAs Devendra Yadav, Kavita Pran Lahre, and former minister Guru Rudra Kumar were involved in inciting the community, which led to the arson. “The Congress party could not digest their defeat in the 2023 assembly elections, and therefore they conspired to create unrest in the state by taking undue advantage of the situation,” Baghel stated.
Baghel questioned the involvement of certain individuals in the event related to the Satnami community, specifically mentioning the presence of Devendra Yadav and raising questions about his role. The BJP also released photos showing the former minister and MLAs. He further alleged that Congress leaders incited the people and claimed that they arranged food for 15,000 protesters and provided them with money. Baghel questioned why Congress MLA Devendra Yadav attended the Satnami community’s event and accused the Congress party of orchestrating the incident due to their inability to accept defeat.
Baghel said that several Congress leaders participated in the protest and accused former minister Guru Rudra Kumar of provoking the people. He emphasized that the Satnami community generally follows non-violence and blamed some anti-social elements for the unfortunate incident.
The minister also addressed the need for recovery against the property damaged during the arson. He noted that over 150 two-wheelers, around 60 four-wheelers, and other properties were gutted in the fire. He mentioned that 200 people have been arrested so far and that a judicial inquiry has been ordered by Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, in accordance with the wishes of the Satnami Samaj. “When an inquiry was already ordered and the Satnami Samaj was happy with the decision, there was no reason for any violence after that. However, the Congress leaders instigated the people to create unrest,” Minister Baghel alleged.
In response, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee president Deepak Baij stated that the incident resulted from a failure of government machinery. He noted that the damage to the ‘Jaitkhamb’ occurred on May 15-16, but the state government did not take any action to reassure the Satnami Samaj. Baij criticized the state government’s approach, saying they wanted to suppress the matter instead of taking action against those who damaged the Jaitkhamb. He described the arson and violence as a complete intelligence failure. “The Chief Minister and other ministers should resign,” Deepak Baij said.

Manish Tiwari

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