Shah, Yogi meet saints in a bid to foil Ayodhya march

BJP president Amit Shah, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, meets the sadhus at Juna Akhara ashram during his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj (Allahabad), on Wednesday. PTI

BJP president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met saints from various 'akharas' (sects) at Kumbh in Prayagraj on Wednesday, in a bid to persuade them not to take part in February 17 march to Ayodhya for construction of Ram Temple.

Shah and Adityanath, who also took a holy dip at the 'Sangam' (the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers), had lunch with saints at 'Juna Akhara' in the tent city on the bank of the Ganga.

According to sources, Shah urged saints not to take part in the 'march', which would be led by Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Dwarika Peeth.

He also sought the support of saints in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and assured them that Ram Temple would be built after the "BJP government" was formed after the elections.

Sources said that both Shah and Adityanath appealed to the saints to ''defer'' their agitation for Ram Temple till the LS polls as it might create difficulties for the saffron party as well as for the state government.

According to the BJP leaders here, saints from all the 13 'akharas' were present at the meeting with Shah and Adityanath. The leaders also claimed that the saints had assured their support to the saffron party.

A group of seers, who also claimed support of the 'akharas' has announced that they will 'march' to Ayodhya on February 17 and will lay the foundation stone for the Ram Temple on February 21. 

The decision to march to Ayodhya by the seers has put the state government in a fix as it can not be seen to be obstructing the construction of Ram Temple.

 The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which had also convened a 'dharm sansad' at Kumbh, decided to defer the Ram Temple agitation till the next Lok Sabha polls.

 

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