Adityanath: at centre of communal storm, and unapologeticSeptember 16th, 2008 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS
Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 16 (IANS) At least one person was killed as communal tension escalated sharply when his motorcade passed through Azamgarh town last week. But Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Yogi Adityanath is unfazed and says he is ready to hold more ‘Hindu awakening rallies’ come November.The controversial MP from eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur constituency, who is unapologetic about his strident brand of Hindutva politics that is widely held as responsible for the BJP’s foothold in the region, said: “I will hold more such rallies after Nov 19.”
Police officials said the 36-year-old’s “anti-terrorism” procession, labelled a Hindu awakening rally, was menacing enough to scare locals when it passed through Azamgarh district Sunday.
Besides many cars, there were some 150 motorcyclists zooming through the area dominated by Muslims.
“They obviously were taunting and scaring the locals in the area, who out of fear threw stones only to find one of them shot dead,” a senior police officer said.
Undeterred by the widespread violence that followed, stretching the secular fabric of the country a little more, Adityanath also sought to justify the attack on churches in Orissa following the killing of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader.
“The Hindu reaction (after the killing of the priest) is justified and it is high time that the Hindus should pick up weapons just like our gods and goddesses adorn weapons,” Adityanath, the successor of Mahant Avaidyanath of the Gorakhpur Temple Trust, told IANS at the temple he controls.
The three-time MP from Gorakhpur ridiculed recent allegations by the Congress that the the BJP and the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were inching towards a political alliance ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha poll.
“This suggestion is far-fetched. But if it were to happen, I would support the BJP only if such a pact is in the interest of the Hindus.”
He claimed he was not unsettled by Congres MP Rahul Gandhi’s road shows in Uttar Pradesh. Gandhi visited the flood-affected areas of Gorakhpur region Sep 11 and also met patients suffering from Japanese encephalitis.
Adityanath has been active in re-converting other religious groups, particularly the low-caste converts to Christianity, back into the Hindu fold. In 2005, a large group of 1,800 people were converted in the town of Etah.
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