Warning bell for BJP? Support from unlikely quarters as Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra traverses UP | The Financial Express

Warning bell for BJP? Support from unlikely quarters as Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra traverses UP

Prominent religious personalities, including those from the Ayodhya Ram Temple trust, have backed Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Warning bell for BJP? Support from unlikely quarters as Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra traverses UP
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', in Ghaziabad, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (PTI Photo/File)

The support for the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra appears to be growing as the Yatra passes through Uttar Pradesh, a state which has proven to be the Congress’ waterloo. A day after Ram Temple chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das conveyed his blessings to the Yatra, more prominent Hindu voices joined ranks in support of Rahul Gandhi’s march.

Among those to have joined the Ayodhya chief priest in backing the Bharat Jodo Yatra include Champat Rai of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swami Govind Dev Giri, the Ram temple trust treasurer, and Sanjay Das, Mahant at the Hanuman Garhi in Ayodhya.

“Who has criticised the Yatra? I am a worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Has anyone from the Sangh criticised the Yatra? Has the Prime Minister criticised the Yatra?” Rai said when asked about the letter by the Ayodhya chief priest to Rahul Gandhi. Rai is the VHP international vice-president and general secretary of the Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra.

“A youth is walking on foot and is trying to understand the country, this is worth appreciating… A 50-year-old youth is travelling 3000 km on foot in this weather. We are going to appreciate him. In fact, everyone should go on a march across the country to explore it,” Rai said on Tuesday.

Hanuman Garhi temple’s Mahant Sanjay Das, the anointed successor of chief priest Gyan Das, told The Indian Express that there was nothing wrong with anyone taking out a yatra.

“Gyan Das ji Maharaj had got the invite but we are in Ganga Sagar right now thus we could not give a written response to give Maharaj’s blessings but Gurudev’s blessings are with him. There is nothing wrong with anyone taking out a yatra for their cause,” he said.

Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, also appeared to back the intent behind the Yatra.

“Whoever takes the name of Lord Ram, whoever takes the name of Bharat Mata and does something, we will appreciate it. And will say that Lord Ram should give them inspiration so that the nation remains united and capable.”

“I do not know if it (Yatra) is uniting the country or not, but it is a good slogan and India should remain united,” he said.

Meanwhile, the remarks have elicited a response from UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who said that everyone has the right to conduct programmes and “people’s feelings must be respected”. However, he questioned the intent behind the Yatra by the Congress.

“The question is what is their intention and ambition. If you are talking of connecting, then it should reflect through work and statements. For the BJP, as the Prime Minister says, the nation comes first and we keep the country above the party. But for many people, the party is above the country. If you look at the incident of Tawang and some other issues, the kind of statements that were made, I think the statements were not to connect the country but to increase the divide and to encourage the enemies. We should avoid doing that,” CM Adityanath said.

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First published on: 05-01-2023 at 13:03 IST