Sadhus for Modi as NDA’s PM candidate

April 29, 2013 by  
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Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with Baba Ramdev and other sadhus in Haridwar.

Sadhus want Narendra Modi declared NDA’s PM candidateApril 27, 2013: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi chose an important Hindu gathering to assert that his description as a Hindu leader is misleading.

“If someone says I represent Hindus alone, it would be unfair. I am a leader of the masses and strongly believe in serving all communities equally and fairly,” Modi said at the inauguration of Ramdev’s new school, Acharya Kulam on Friday.

This display of secular intent comes at a time when his name for NDA’s prime ministerial candidature has run into trouble with allies like JD(U) that say Modi lacks secular credentials.

That Modi chose a gathering of sadhus, many of whom are close to the Hindutva ideology, may have looked a bit ironical. But many sadhus stuck to their description of Modi as the custodian of Hindu faith.

For the Gujarat CM, who is expected to campaign in Karnataka by addressing a public meeting in Bangalore on Sunday, the endorsement will help him against the resistance he faces from some members of the BJP parliamentary board, as also a section of VHP owing allegiance to Modi’s known opponent, Praveen Togadia. His approval by prominent sadhus and gurus will help strengthen the momentum for Modi, strengthening other VHP stalwarts like Ashok Singhal who are seen as favourably disposed towards him.

Ram Dev and other prominent spiritual leaders like Swami Chidanand Muni, Murari Bapu, Ramesh Ojha Hari Ketananand, Swami Krishan Muni Maharaj, Swami Parmatanand ji Maharaj, held a half-an-hour closed door meeting. Ramdev and his aide Balkrishan presented a letter of appreciation, a Prashansa Patra to Modi for his role as most capable CM of Gujarat.

Several preachers including two from Gujarat, Murari Bapu and Parmatmanandji Maharaj, said Modi should be declared NDA’s candidate for prime ministership. Ramdev, who in the past has often spoken in favour of Modi, too, gave the campaign a fillip, praising him as an able administrator. Only a few weeks ago in Indore, Ramdev had said crores of Indians are pinning their hopes on Modi, and described the Gujarat CM as a symbol of development and good governance, asking people to support him.

“Modi is a symbol of development and good governance and people have a lot of expectations from him. He is a good leader and the people should support such a leader,” Ramdev had said.

Modi returned the compliment saying the country was built by its spiritual tradition and its saints and religious leaders, and not by any politician. “I want to announce from this stage that not a single religious leader has ever asked for anything from me. Today I am happy that in Haridwar I have received the honour to meet saints,” Modi said.

Earlier, Congress workers greeted Modi with black flags, but an undeterred Modi, addressing a gathering of at least 10,000 people, said the objective of his visit to Patanjali Yogpeeth was not to seek spiritual gurus’ blessings or acquire any seat of power, but ensure that he does not do anything wrong and continues to serve all sections of societies irrespective of their creed, caste and community. “I am sure, these seers’ blessings will help me correct myself as like others I may also have certain shortcomings,” Modi said.

Defending yoga guru Ramdev in his campaign against black money and rampant corruption, Modi said whatever actions Ramdev initiates would help. He then attacked the UPA government for harassing Ramdev by ordering raids on his herbal medicine plants with the aim of hurting his image. “Is this the job of the Central government?” Modi asked. “What will you get out of torturing a spiritual figure like Ramdev, whose motto is to serve society selflessly,” Modi said.

– times of india

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