Perhaps anxious to contain the political fallout of last month’s police action against sadhus in Ayodhya, the Samajwadi Party government has now started wooing them.
It has gifted ‘ Y’ security cover to Jagadguru Rambhadracharya, a prominent blind seer, who was part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-sponsored 84 kosi parikrama build-up for the temple cause.
The seer from Chitrakoot was arrested along with VHP leader Ashok Singhal at the Lucknow airport on August 25 and later released on court orders. Soon after his release, Rambhadracharya had lashed out at the UP government and threatened that the clampdown on sadhus would boomerang.
Top officials t old HT Rambhadracharya, who was appointed the life time chancellor of Chitrakoot’s famous handicapped university named after him when the Rajnath Singh-led BJP government, was in power in the state over a decade ago had reported security threats after which a decision was made to grant him Y security cover.
However, the timing (security cover was granted “a week back”) does suggest that there could be more to the ‘Y’ security cover than meets the eye.
Though government officials told HT a high powered committee would meet soon to take a call on whether to “continue” the security cover to Rambhadracharya, yet another development does confirm that the UP government may be attempting to build bridges with the sadhus after the Sunday showdown.
B Pandey, the vice chancellor of Rambhadracharya’s university, told HT that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had agreed to be the chief guest at the university’s function on September 12. So far, mostly top BJP leaders like former union HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi, present BJP chief Rajnath Singh, among a few others, have graced the university’s convocation. The V-C confirmed the Jagadguru had met the chief minister in Lucknow.
The Samajwadi Party government had earlier fielded Shankaracharya Adokshjanand and Ayodhya’s Mahant Gaya Das to slam the VHP-sponsored parikrama.
Of late, the chief minister has met several saints at his residence and assured them of his government’s “full” support apparently to blunt the Ayodhya edge, which the VHP may have gained after the clampdown.
Till Monday, the state government had arrested 2980 seers for defying parikrama ban. Of these, 2942 have been released.