"Indian culture has always respected saints. Ministry has not been given to cons and thugs but saints. I applaud Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and condemn Congress for opposing it," Bharti told ANI.
Earlier in the day, the Madhya Pradesh Government has granted Minister of State (MoS) rank to five religious leaders, namely Baba Narmadanand, Baba Hariharanand, Computer Baba, Bhaiyyu Maharaj, and Pandit Yogendra Mahant in the state cabinet.
The Congress dubbed the decision as an attempt by the BJP to exploit the respect these religious leaders enjoy in society.
"It's a gimmick to score political points. This is also an effort by the Chief Minister [Shivraj Singh Chouhan] to wash off his sins. He ignored conservation of the Narmada," Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.
On March, 31, these five leaders were been appointed as members in a special committee formed for raising awareness about water conservation, cleanliness and aforestation near Narmada River.
The order issued by the state secretariat shall be effective from the date of its issuance, that is April 3. (ANI)