Congress functionaries on Monday sprinkled 'gang jal' at the venue of a bodybuilding competition organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh in which women bodybuilders posed, apparently to assuage an alleged affront to Lord Hanuman, the celibate patron deity of the sport.
The 13th Mister Junior Bodybuilding Competition was held on March 4 and 5, and it had women bodybuilders posing in front of the image of Hanuman, after which local Congress leaders sprinkled 'ganga jal' and recited 'Hanuman Chalisa' as part of the "purification" of the venue, party functionaries said.
As per the event's invitation card, 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 during the day, showed women bodybuilders posing, leading to former mayor and Congress leader Paras Saklecha accusing Patel and Kashyap of showcasing "indecency".
District Youth Congress Committee president Mayank Jat said Lord Hanuman will punish those who were involved in this.
State BJP spokesperson Hitesh Bajpai hit back claiming the Congress did not want to see women excelling in sports, while some of the event organisers submitted a memorandum to the police demanding action against the Congress leaders.
In his video statement, Mr Bajpai said, "Congressmen cannot see women taking part in wrestling, gymnastics or swimming because the devil inside them awakens by seeing this. They look at women on the playground with dirty eyes. Aren't they ashamed?" Meanwhile, Piyush Babele, the media advisor of MP Congress chief Kamal Nath, sought an apology from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleging the event, which was held to mark the CM's birthday on Sunday, was "disrespectful to Hindus and Lord Hanuman".
Mr Babele said his party will boycott Bajpai in television debates for "supporting obscenity".
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