Putting electoral politics on its agenda for the first time, the Sant Samagam (a congregation of Hindu saints) on Sunday pledged its support to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in the UP assembly elections beginning next month.
At the same time, the saints threatened to boycott the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in 2019 if the Central government failed to enact a law for protecting ‘Gau and Ganga’ (cow and Ganga river) by that time.
The gathering of seers made the declaration at the ongoing annual Magh Mela (a religious fair) in Allahabad.
“Nearly, 15 lakh saints live in UP alone. These saints are recognised by different Akharas and other religious congregations. These saints have decided to support Akhilesh Yadav in the forthcoming assembly elections,” said Swami Narendra Giriji, president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. He was presiding over the Sant Samagam here. The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad was part of the gathering.
Swami Narendra Giri later told HT later that saints would support the party as the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government did a lot of development in the state.
“Saints want peace and development in UP. Likewise, we are reviewing the work done over the last five years by the government in Uttarakhand, where the headquarters of many Akharas are situated,” he shares.
Other prominent saints at Sant Samagam, including Shri Harichaitanya Brahmchari of Teekarmafi Ashram, Sant Gopaldas Maharaj of Sachcha Baba Ashram and Swami Sharnadutt of Panchpeda (Rajasthan), questioned BJP-led Central government about the steps it had taken in the last two-and-a-half-years for the protection of the cow and the Ganga river.
“We should promote the use of cow milk and ghee in the country,” said Swami Sharnadutt.