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'Miffed' MP cow protection board chief elevated to cabinet rank

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

The government has elevated state to the cabinet rank, reportedly after he expressed displeasure on being appointed to a Narmada conservation panel along with some "controversial" religious figures in April.

In April, the government appointed religious leaders Namdev Tyagi, popularly known as Computer Baba, Pandit Yogendra Mahant, Bhaiyuji Maharaj (now deceased), Swami Hariharanandji Saraswati and Narmadanandji to the Narmada protection panel and granted them the status of (MoS).

They were also named to a panel, set up for conservation of the Narmada, along with Akhileshwaranand.

"The issued an order granting me the cabinet rank on June 11," Akhileshwaranand confirmed today.

He said nothing much should be read into the government granting him the cabinet rank as he deserved it by virtue of being the of the (MPCPB).

However, Akhileshwaranand acknowledged that he was not comfortable when he was appointed to the Narmada conservation panel.

"I was uneasy when I was picked for the Narmada conservation panel with some other people. In 2016, I was made the of the By virtue of that post, I should have been given the cabinet rank but that did not happen," he said.

However, the issued an order and granted me the MoS status along with three of my deputies in the MPCPB, he added.

"In fact, three vice chairmen of the enjoy the MoS status. It was just a technical (writing) mistake under which we all were accorded the same status," Akhileshwaranand claimed.

Akhileshwaranand reportedly shot off a letter to days after it emerged that Computer Baba and Yogendra Mahant were allegedly granted the MoS status after they agreed to call off a yatra campaign to expose alleged corruption in planting of saplings along the

According to reports, he had even threatened to resign from the panel.

Akhileshwaranand, however, had denied writing the letter to the

"The latest order (granting him the cabinet status) amounts to correcting the earlier wrong," he said while insisting that he deserved the new status since the last two years and not the MOS rank.

"I am 'Mahamandelshwar' of Niranjani Akhada and these (worldly) ranks are too small for me," Akhileshwaranand added.

The order granting the cabinet rank to the seer came a day after he shared stage with Chouhan at a state-level farmers' convention in

Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls later this year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 18:30 IST