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After BJP president, RSS chief now holds meeting with seers in Haridwar

Three days after BJP national president Amit Shah met saints and spiritual leaders in Haridwar, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat held a closed door meetings with them on Wednesday

dehradun Updated: Jun 27, 2018 22:13 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times, Haridwar
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Hari Har Ashram in Haridwar after interacting with seers and spiritual leaders on Wednesday. (RAMESHWAR GAUR/HT PHOTO)

Three days after BJP national president Amit Shah met saints and spiritual leaders in Haridwar, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat held a closed door meetings with them on Wednesday.

With less than a year to go for parliamentary elections, Shah and Bhagwat reaching out to spiritual organisations triggered speculation that they sought their support for the ruling. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the ideological parent of the BJP.

The RSS chief arrived on Tuesday at Hari Har Ashram, Kankhal, where he was guest of spiritual guru Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avdeshanand Maharaj of Juna Akhada.

Juna Akhada is one of the biggest of 13 Akhadas, having over 5 lakh sadhus and millions of followers.

The high profile meeting of Mohan Bhagwat with former Shankaracharya Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj, All India Gayatri Parivar head Pranav Panday, Patanjali Yogpeeth general secretary Acharya Balkrishna, Swami Avdeshanand Maharaj, Swami Gyananand led to a speculation that the RSS was mobilising saint community and spiritual organisations to support the BJP.

Though, the RSS chief refrained from speaking to the media, Avdeshanand Maharaj said during the meeting, they discussed aspects like cleaning Ganga and holding Kumbh 2019 at Allahabad.

“Neither the Shri Ram Janam bhoomi temple issue, nor the 2019 parliamentary elections were discussed during the meeting,” said Avdeshanand Maharaj.

“Meeting was a part of Adhyatmik Chetna Sangh bi-annual meeting related with conservation of Indian culture, Sanatan dharma, hosting of Kumbh in a grand way and spreading spirituality among masses.”

“Majority of us (at the meeting) are saints or spiritual persons. So no point of discussing political or controversial issues,” he said.

Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Yogpeeth said: “We have no political aspirations. We are trying to make India a spiritually inclined country.”

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also tried to downplay the political agenda, saying the meeting was just based on spiritual aspects and nothing to do with any political issue.

On pacifying Gayatri Shantikunj head Pranav Pandya as he had refused a Rajya Sabha seat offer of the BJP, Rawat said: “There was no such issue and deserves respect, which we have been giving him.”

A BJP office bearer, close to the developments, on condition of anonymity, said Haridwar was on priority list of the BJP and RSS as the saint community resides here in substantial number and any message given by them gets generated throughout the country.

“Mobilising support of saints and spiritual-religious communities augur well with the BJP’s Hindutva image. After taking back support from the PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP high command is more conducive to RSS staunch Hindu ideology,” said the office bearer.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 22:13 IST