BJP eyes 2019 through 'gateway to hell'

BJP eyes 2019 through 'gateway to hell'

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Image courtesy Twitter

Many may still consider Magahar inauspicious, the place where Kabir chose to die to demolish the prevailing myth that those who die here will go to the "hell", but the BJP seems to want to make Magahar its gateway to the heavens.

Magahar, about 250 km from Lucknow, draws thousands of people from across the country, mostly hailing from Dalit, Muslim and backward communities, and could just be the place that might help the saffron party return to power in 2019 if it could ensure their support.

Threatened with the likely prospect of shifting of the Dalit and OBC allegiances to the proposed Grand Alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, BJP feels that it may have found in the uniting face of Kabir a "success mantra".

No wonder Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose Magahar to launch his party's campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha polls on Thursday.

There are said to be a large number of Kabirpanthis (followers of Kabir) not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in other parts of the country, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Assembly polls are scheduled in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan later this year.

"People from all faiths come here... there is a temple and a mosque within the complex besides the tomb of Kabir," said Mahant Vichar Das, the head of the Kabir Trust here while speaking to DH.

BJP leaders exuded confidence that Modi's invocation of Kabir would go a long way in conveying the message that the party believed in 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (development of all).

"It will help ensure the return of the OBCs and Dalits to our fold and nullify the proposed SP-BSP alliance... it will also ensure the support of at least a section of the Muslims," said a senior BJP leader, who shared the stage with Modi during his rally here.

The presence of some Muslim men and women in traditional attires must have given this confidence to the saffron party leaders.

Like Kabir, who believed in breaking myths and whose works tried to demolish the age-old superstitions and the caste system, Modi also appealed to the people to rise above caste and religion for the progress of the country.