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Shah reaches out to saints in Haridwar, seeks poll support

With less than a year to go for parliamentary elections, BJP national president Amit Shah reached out to spiritual organisations here on Sunday and sought their support

dehradun Updated: Jun 24, 2018 21:54 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Amit Shah,Haridwar saints
BJP president Amit Shah meets Swami Satyamitranand Maharaj, a former Shankaracharya, as part of the 'Sampark Se Samarthan' campaign in Haridwar on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

With less than a year to go for parliamentary elections, BJP national president Amit Shah reached out to spiritual organisations here on Sunday and sought their support.

Visiting Shanti Kunj first, Shah offered prayers at the headquarters of the All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), and later held closed-door discussions with the organisation’s spiritual head Pranav Pandya.

The BJP president evaded media queries, but Pandya said Shah cited development work and social welfare initiatives of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government to seek support for the saffron party in parliamentary elections.

Shanti Kunj has a pan-India following of more than 15 crore volunteers and devotees. Shah urged Pandya to give a message to all volunteers and devotees to support the BJP to ensure a stable government and corruption-free rule in the country.

The Shanti Kunj spiritual head said the way the BJP-led government has performed over the past four years, it deserves “more time” to execute long-term initiatives.

The BJP government had offered Pandya nomination to the Rajya Sabha in May 2016, but he turned it down, saying the atmosphere in the upper house was not conducive for a spiritual person involved in humanitarian-charity work.

Shah later met Swami Satyamitranand Maharaj, a former Shankaracharya, at Bharat Mata temple in Saptsarovar and Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara.

Seeking Swami Satyamitranand’s support for the BJP, Shah urged saints and spiritual gurus to bless Prime Minister Modi and party activists, so that they continue to bring change and development in the country.

Bharat Mata Mandir was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983; Congress leaders are also associated with the temple and Swami Satyamitranand. Shah’s visit to the temple is seen as a move to get the backing of pro-Congress spiritual gurus and religious organisations for the BJP.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, BJP state president Ajay Bhatt, national general secretary Saroj Pandey, and urban minister Madan Kaushik accompanied Shah.

First Published: Jun 24, 2018 21:53 IST