Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath on Tuesday asked the party workers to recite 'Hanuman Chalisa' before Holika dahan (bonfires) on Tuesday, saying Lord Hanuman was "disrespected" at a programme organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party. A row erupted when women bodybuilders posed in front of the image of Lord Hanuman at the venue of the 13th Mister Junior Bodybuilding Competition held in Ratlam on March 4 and 5, after which local Congress leaders sprinkled 'ganga jal' as part of the "purification" of the venue on Monday. They had also recited 'Hanuman Chalisa'.
Nath said it has been a tradition of the Sanatan Dharma to burn all the evils to ashes during Holika dahan on the day of Holi. "We recently saw how Lord Bajrangbali was disrespected in the BJP's programme in Ratlam. My heart is pained by this insult to Hindu Dharma. I urge you to burn effigies of evil in your city and village today and recite Sundar-kand (a part of Ramayana) and 'Hanuman Chalisa' to awaken goodness. Take part in Holika Dahan as per tradition in the night," Nath tweeted.
As per the invitation card of the bodybuilding programme, the organising committee includes the city's BJP mayor Prahlad Patel, while the patron is legislator Chaitanya Kashyap. A video of the event, which surfaced on social media, showed women bodybuilders posing, leading to former mayor and Congress leader Paras Saklecha accusing Patel and Kashyap of showcasing "indecency".