NEW DELHI (TIP): Two Shankaracharyas—Puri Shankaracharya Swami Adhokshjanand Devtirath and Dwarka Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand—have come out openly against Narendra Modi and decided to work for his defeat in Varanasi as they believe he is a “sinner” in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Puri Shankaracharya on May 1 said he will go to Varanasi and campaign against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 12 May elections. “I will go to Varanasi and expose him. Those who divide people to come to power should be exposed.” He said Modi has committed “sins” and no justice-loving person can ever “like” him. Narendra Modi is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress candidate Ajai Rai in the holy city.
The Puri Shankaracharya said he had himself gone to Gujarat and witnessed the situation after the 2002 riots. He charged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Samiti (RSS) with using religion to “mislead” the people. He said it should come to the fore as a political organization rather than a social-cultural body. The Puri Shankaracharya said Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) leaders were already issuing statements which were creating tension in the country.
He said he would not campaign for any particular party but just wanted that secular parties should win. Dwarka Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand is also opposed to Modi and will be deputing his close associate Swami Avi Mukteswaranand to Varanasi to campaign against Modi, people close to him said.
They said Dwarka Shankaracharya cannot travel to Varanasi because of his poor health. He had recently protested against the “Har Har Modi” slogan, saying it amounted to “worship” of a man and “god will stop Modi” if it was not stopped. Sensing a religious controversy, Narendra Modi had immediately asked his supporters to refrain from raising such slogans.