The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh Friday hiked the honorarium of priests of Hindu temples, and also announced financial help to the shrines which offer shelter to cows.
The move, an apparent bid to counter BJP's Hindutva politics, comes ahead of general elections.
Around 25,000 priests serving at government-managed temples will get Rs 3,000 instead of Rs 1,000 per month with effect from January 1, said Spiritual Affairs Minister P C Sharma.
Muslim clerics attached to the Madhya Pradesh Aukaf Board would also get the same hike, he said.
"We are also going to provide financial help to the temples which have land attached to them for sheltering and rearing cows," he said.
"The BJP did not care for Gau Mata (cow) during its 15 years'' rule in Madhya Pradesh," the minister alleged.
The Congress, in its manifesto for the November 2018 assembly polls in the state, had promised to hike the honorarium of priests, Sharma noted.
The party had also promised to set up cow shelters across the state.
Mr Sharma, who is also the Public Relations Minister, said the government is providing extra facilities for travelling to the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj.
Four special trains would be run from the state, one of them from Habibganj station in Bhopal, to take pilgrims to the Kumbh, he said.
The first train would leave on February 12, he said.
The government will put up a tent at the Kumbh Mela to help pilgrims from the state and also to showcase religious sites in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Sharma added.
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