New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Left parties today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify on the “unconstitutional” decision by the Madhya Pradesh government to accord MoS status to Hindu religious leaders, while the AAP alleged that the move was placatory and sought to silence them from exposing the BJP government in the state.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has decided to accord minister of state status to five Hindu religious leaders.

As per an order of General Administration Department’s Additional Secretary K K Katiya, the MoS status has been accorded to Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Computer Baba, Bhayyu Maharaj and Pandit Yogendra Mahant.

The CPI slammed the state government for mixing religion with governance.

“Firstly, mixing religion and governance and mixing religion and politics is unconstitutional. It is not in accordance with our Constitution. Madhya Pradesh government has been doing this in order to polarise not only people but also religion.

“The state government is doing it for electoral gains. The prime minister should reply how BJP-ruled states are doing such things,” CPI leader D Raja told PTI.

The CPI(M), too, said it considered the state government’s move was influenced by the “communal agenda” of BJP-RSS.

“We consider it totally wrong that they should be getting MoS status. The appointments themselves are something to be questioned. This is completely unacceptable. This is another example of BJP-RSS trying to communalise an institution,” CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said.

The AAP alleged that Chouhan was trying to cover up a scam through this move.

“Computer Baba had threatened to expose the scam of Narmada Yatra undertaken by Shivraj Singh Chouhan. This is why the chief minister has given Cabinet status to these babas. And if these babas don’t tell the truth then it will be a great disservice,” AAP’s Madhya Pradesh convenor Alok Agarwal said.

On March 31, the five religious leaders were appointed to a committee set up for the conservation of the Narmada river.

As members of the committee, they have been given the MoS status, a GAD official said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.