On December 13, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Uttar Pradesh that connects the ancient Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi to the ghats of the Ganga. One has to look at the timing of the launch of the incomplete corridor, the timing that has much political significance.
It is election time in Uttar Pradesh and some other states when Narendra Modi has once again launched the Hindutva card with the inauguration of the Corridor. The Election Commission of India in no matter of time would announce the dates for the Uttar Pradesh elections.
Modi, with an eye of the coming polls, had a dramatic entry at Varanasi with a dip in the Holy Ganga, offering televised prayers and went to the extreme of acknowledging the labourers’ who were part of the rebuilding of the temple by offering floral tributes to them. He even shared a meal with the workers. Modi had well mixed religion and politics. In his speech, Modi was particularly sharp in glorifying the role of Indore’s empress Ahilyabai Holkar and Sikh monarch Ranjit Singh in keeping the temple afloat despite repeated “foreign” atrocities. However, he purposefully ignored the emperor Akbar, who was instrumental in rebuilding the Vishwanath temple twice.
Coming into play, Modi launched his gigantic show in Varanasi aimed at the elections only and the other political parties got hint and they had no other way but to jump into the religious playground. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav stated that his government had approved the project and the credit of the corridor really belonged to him. Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi, who seemed to have sensed some religious overtones, noted the greatness of Hinduism.
NOT A SHOW WITH YOGI
The BJP that knows that it cannot ride the show with just Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has seen tumbling on various issues. In such a scenario, they had their trump card “Narendra Modi”, who kickstarted his election show, focussing indirectly on the Hindus. The BJP has been campaigning on development as well as Hindutva. More to see, Narendra Modi in the last two months alone had launched a series of projects in Uttar Pradesh like the expressway, Rs 9,600 crore project in Gorakhpur, Jewar airport, Saryu Canal project in Balrampur and the ken-Betwa river linking project.
The BJP, which sense difficult times ahead, rightly chose Modi, whom they believe could translate political equations. With political pundits and a few surveys not predicting a good picture for the BJP, as they feel anti-incumbency against the Adityanath government. Moreover, fresh trouble is going to haunt down the BJP with the investigation team probing Lakhimpur Kheri violence said the incident was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy that led to the death of five people and left several injured. The people had blamed Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra ‘Teni’ and his son Ashish Mishra for the violence that left eight dead, including four farmers a local journalist, and others during a farmers’ protest. They were mowed down by a vehicle that was part of the convoy of the Minister in Lakhimpur Kheri.
With all troubles, a fresh start with the Hindutva card in Kashi, feel the BJP could tilt the tables. And here comes Modi, whom the BJP knows could tilt the equations.