A product of Yogi's Hindutva laboratory, Deepak Agarwal has preferred 'hand' (Congress) to 'lotus' (BJP) in this Vidhan Sabha election. He is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the defeat of the candidate fielded by his one time mentor BJP MP Yogi Adityanath.
Only a few months back he was a prominent member of the Yogi's rabble-rousing team, which moved from one village to another creating a reign of terror in the Muslim dominated areas. Those who dared to raise the voice against the Yogi were firmly dealt with by the saffron brigade led by Agarwal.
Along with Yogi he was accused in Nathuwa and Mohan Munderwa case.
However, all that seems to be the past and now-a-days Agarwal is singing another tune. These days his slogan is, 'down with communalism'.
He assured members of the Muslim community that he would work for their betterment and keep the 'Yogi brigade' at bay. His message it seems has gone down well between the Hindu and Muslim community.
Why this change of heart? Agarwal quipped, "Yogi's Hindutva was not for Hinduism but to serve his vested political interest."
He further added that like other youth he was misguided by the Yogi to join Hindu Yuva Vahini and Hindu Mahasabha.
"After the death of my father, a few criminals tried to capture my business and threatened my family. Rather than supporting me the police stood with the rivals. Fake cases were lodged against my family members and we were harassed. I lodged a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission and senior police officials, but in vain. Yogi came to my rescue but on a condition that I will have to join his team.
There was little option for me at that time," recounted Agarwal.
Even as Agarwal trained his gun on the saffron brigade, he came in handy for the Congress that was looking for an opportunity to hit at Yogi and his Hindutva.
Top Congress leaders have addressed a public meeting in Pipraich and on Saturday Rahul Gandhi will organise a road show in favour of Agarwal.
Congress leaders in Pipraich say victory of Agarwal would send a message among other youth who have been misguided by Yogi and plan to reach Vidhan Sabha with his support.
"Wait for the result and several of the Yogi supporters would desert him after their dream goes sour," said Agarwal's supporters.