Two Shankaracharyas to campaign against Modi in Varanasi
Two key Hindu religious leaders will campaign against Nanrendra Modi in the holy city of Varanasi from where the BJP's prime ministerial candidate is contesting the Lok Sabha election.
While Puri Shankaracharya Swami Adhokshjanand Devtirath has blamed Modi for 2002 Gujarat riots, Dwarka Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati has also been his critic since long and had taken him on recently for 'Har Har Modi' slogan, inspired by a religious incantation, raised by his supporters.
"I will go to Varanasi and expose him," Swami Adhokshjanand said, adding those who divid people to come to power should be exposed.
Modi is pitted against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress candidate Ajai Rai in the temple town.
He said he would not campaign for any particular party but just wanted that secular parties should win.
Aides of Swami Swaroopanand said the octogenarian pontiff would not be able to personally campaign against the Gujarat Chief Minister due to his poor health and age but his close associate Swami Avi Mukteswaranand would do so on his behalf.
He had protested with RSS against 'Har Har Modi' slogan, saying it amounted to "worship" of a man and "god will stop Modi" if it was not stopped.
Sensing a religious controversy, Modi had immediately asked his supporters to refrain from raising such slogans.
The Puri Shankaracharya said Modi has committed "sins" and no justice-loving person can ever "like" him.
The Shankaracharya said he had himself gone to Gujarat and witnessed the situation after the 2002 riots.
He charged RSS used religion in order to mislead the people. He said it should come to the fore as a political organisation rather than a social-cultural body.
The Shankaracharya said BJP leaders were already issuing statements which were creating tension in the country.