In a bizarre incident, the Indore police have lodged an FIR against BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani and the priest of the famous Khajrana Ganesh Temple because, as per the district election commission, a cloth that Lalwani offered to the deity in the temple was ‘political’.
इंदौर से BJP प्रत्याशी@iShankarLalwani जी और प्राचीनतम खजराना गणेश मंदिर के पुजारी श्री अशोक भट्ट के खिलाफ पुलिस ने आचार संहिता के उल्लंघन का मामला दर्ज किया है. @ECISVEEP के मुताबिक उनका अपराध ये है कि उन्होंने वैदिक परंपरा के अनुरूप भगवान गणेश को चोला चढ़ाकर उनकी पूजा की थी।
— Chowkidar Ramesh Mendola, MLA, Indore (@Ramesh_Mendola) May 10, 2019
As per reports, BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani had gone to worship at the Khajrana Ganesh temple of Indore on April 29 where he had offered a cloth of saffron and green colour with lotus flowers.
As BJP’s party flag is of saffron and green colour and its party symbol is Lotus, Congress had complained to the election commission that the Puja done by Lalwani is a gross violation of the model code of conduct.
The district election commission has received the complaint and had reportedly instructed Indore police to lodge an FIR against Lalwani and the priest of the temple.
As per reports, Khajrana SHO Preetam Singh Thakur has stated that an FIR has been lodged against BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani and priest Ashok Bhatt under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and Religious Institutions (prevention of misuse) Act, 1988, on Wednesday, 8th May.
The police have informed that the case was registered as per instructions of district election officer Lokesh Kumar Jatav.
BJP’s MLA Ramesh Mendola has reacted to the FIR stating that saffron and green colours are a vital part of Hindu ritualistic traditions as saffron kumkum and green ‘Durba’ grass is an integral part of any Hindu puja. Saffron and green clothes are offered by devotees to deities as a symbol of these two items. He has also stated that the Lotus flower is another Hindu symbol that has always been used for worshipping deities since ancient times as mentioned in Hindu texts and scriptures.
Mendola has also stated that not only on April 29 but even the latest images of the temple show that the deity was adorned with clothes of saffron and green colour and lotus flowers. He has also asserted that MP candidate Lalwani was not campaigning when he went to the temple and neither any of his associates had indulged in any campaigning activity while inside the temple premises.
Mendola has also asked whether the police will also consider lodging an FIR against Lord Ganesha too as he has been adorned with BJP colours and symbol.
BJP Indore has asked whether Hindus will have to ask for a NOC from the election commission each time they pray to their gods as per traditional rituals.