Can the temple complex be used to propagate political ideology? The simple answer is no. The politics and religion could not be mixed together. Realising the mood of the people, the trustees of the Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi have asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and his parents to move out of the temple complex because the premises was being used for political activities.
Sources claim that the parents of the Arvind Kejriwal – Gita Devi and Gobind Kejriwal – used to give sermons about the need to have a political change prompting trust members to ask the Kejriwals to shift out of the temple where they were staying since April 15. The sources also added that there were objections from the devout coming to the temple about the spurt of “political activity” there. The devout said that parents wearing AAP cap even distributed caps and pamphlets among the devotees. Earlier no one said anything because of the age of the couple. But when they started talking politics in the temple – eye brows were raised.
Head priest of Sankat Mochan, Bishambhar Mishra had invited Arvind Kejriwal and his parents to stay at the guest house situated at the first floor of the temple complex. Initially, no one objected to this. But then devotees started questioning as why a candidate of Parliamentary election was allowed to stay in temple complex. But the situation went out of hands when Arvind Kejriwal’s parents started electioneering from there. Dr Kaushal Kishore Mishra, cousin of Bishambhar Mishra was vocal against the use of the temple premises. However, the AAP has so far received a lukewarm response in Varanasi.
Arvind Kejriwal is banking heavily on the Muslim support to counter Narendra Modi’s increasing political acceptability. But the way Muslims of this holy city have shown their inclination to vote for the BJP this time has taken steam out of AAP’s sail. Last night, former Congress mayor Ajay Kumar Singh and over 80 Muslim representatives – men and women – joined the BJP. In this scenario, the trustees of the temple did not want to chance and therefore they opted to move out.
Trying to steer out of controversy, the temple trust said that the Kejriwals were allotted room for three days and after expiry of the time limit they have been asked to vacate the accommodation. The AAP sources said that Arvind Kejriwal and his parents had moved to the Durga Kund area near Benaras Hindu University (BHU).