Gujarat minister sends best wishes to rape convict Asaram for observing ‘Matru-Pitru Pujan’ day
Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma sparked controversy by writing a congratulatory message to a yoga ashram run by the controversial Asaram Trust for observing February 14 as ‘”Matru-Pitru Pujan(Mother-Father Worship) day.
The sprawling ashram located in Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati area was mired in controversy following deaths of two students allegedly for praticising black magic by self-styled godman Asaram, who was in 2018 convicted in a rape case and is currently lodged in Jodhpur jail.
On being asked about the controversy the minister said: “All I have done is sent the best wishes message. I have nothing to do with controversy (surrounding the founder and the ashram)’’.
February 14 is usually being celebrated as Valentine’s Day almost across the world. But, the Yog Vedanta Samiti, within ashram, observes this day as Matru-Pitru Pujan day.
The message in Gujarati from the minister read: “Those who serve their parents and teachers become respectable figures in the society. Your initiative of observing this day is appreciable. Hope that this campaign becomes successful and the students understand their duties towards parents in becoming best citizens. My best wishes for the campaign’’.
The Congress termed the letter from the education minister as “unfortunate” and said that the BJP was trying to woo a section of people that are still under influence of Asaram.
“This is so unfortunate that state education minister is appreciating ashram of a hardcore criminal, who is accused of rapes and murders. This shows the nexus between the BJP and godman,” said Congress spokesman Manish Doshi, adding that “as the elections are around the corner, they are trying to woo a section which is still under influence of Asaram.”
Bodies of two people Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela, students of residential school of Asaram Ashram, were found from Sabarmati River bank in 2008. The family of two cousins had accused that black magic practice by the ashram has taken their children lives, the family has demanded a CBI probe.