Raipur/New Delhi, April 8
Amid discontent brewing in Chhattisgarh over Ramayana recitals, the state government has organised a three-day Ramayana recital competition to celebrate the completion of renovation and beautification work of Shivrinarayan temple under the ambitious 'Ram Van Gaman Tourism Circuit'.
The Congress government's move of holding Ramayana recitals has not got down well with the tribals who constitute over 30 per cent population of Chhattisgarh. The tribal outfits have been protesting the move, stating that it is bulldozing of their interests.
At the temple premises in Janjgir-Champa district, the event began on Friday with various troupes performing 'Manas Gayan' (recital of Ramcharit Manas).
About 350 eminent artists from 25 districts of the state will perform in this recital competition, results of which will be declared on the concluding day.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will give a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh (winner), Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh to the first and second runners-up.
Padma Shri Mamta Chandrakar, the nightingale of Chhattisgarh, will perform folk and devotional songs in Chhattisgarhi.
Last year, the Chhattisgarh chief minister inaugurated the renovated Kaushalya Mata Temple in Chandkhuri, near Raipur, under the tourism circuit development project in a grand event.
Shivrinarayan temple is the second in line of the nine sites marked in the first-phase of the project.