India

Delhi BJP flexes ‘Hindutva’ muscle to counter ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ Kejriwal

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Its all hands on deck for the otherwise faction ridden Delhi unit of the BJP, with leaders to cadres alike have kept their allegiances to respective ‘camps' aside to put a grand united face on August 5, when the ‘Bhoomi Pujan' of the Ram temple takes place in Ayodhya. But the larger goal of the party in the national capital is not to cede an inch to the Aam Aadmi Party to appropriate the Ram Mandir legacy and instead question it for its “appeasement politics”.

Three basic decisions have been taken unanimously by the party — to ensure diyas are lit in almost all temples in the national capital, mass distribute diyas to general public so that they can be lit after the sunset and install giant LED screens at vantage points across the national capital where at least one BJP leader will be present to watch the ‘Bhoomi Pujan' along with others.

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“Diyas will be distributed to all pujaris, in all temples across the national capital. They will light them. Similarly, diyas in large numbers will be distributed among the general public,” R.P. Singh, BJP's national secretary told IANS.

The goal is simple — to own up the event in the national capital. During and after this year's Delhi election, there has been a shift in Kejriwal's public posturing where he thronged Hanuman temples and the first thing he spoke about after his spectacular win that it was a Tuesday, “Bajrangwali Ka Din Hai”. Soon after the win, AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj organized a ‘Sundar Kand Path' (a chapter from the Ramcharitmanas). He also demanded a Hanuman statue in Ayodhya.

Worried that the AAP may try to appropriate what the BJP perceives its own struggle, BJP's new President in Delhi Adesh Gupta has been trying to ensure it doesn't happen.

On Saturday, Gupta along with Singh attended an event arranged at a Karol Bagh temple in view of the forthcoming ‘Bhoomi Pujan' on August 5. Though it was a religious event, Gupta didn't miss mentioning “Kejriwal's politics of appeasement”. He alleged, “Kejriwal is strengthening his vote bank. He is indulging in discrimination by only giving stipends to Imams in mosque. Even in this hour of crisis he is extending help only to a certain community while discriminating against pujaris in Delhi temples and granthis in Delhi Gurudwaras”.

Meanwhile, even as diyas are being distributed at mass scale by the party, many party leaders have taken it to themselves to plaster their constituency with saffron flags. BJP's Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, who unsuccessfully contested from Hari Nagar this year, says, “My entire constituency has been saffronised. I will also distribute prasad, after the ‘Bhoomi Pujan' gets over.”

Meanwhile, large LED screens are being put up at areas like Sindhi Park in Vijender Nagar or at a cluster in Inderpuri. All 70 assembly constituencies are likely to have at least one such screen. But it also involves logistics. To discuss the same, Gupta held a virtual meeting on Sunday morning along with BJP's National Vice President and Delhi Incharge Shyam Jaju, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi BJP's General Secretary (Organization) Siddharthan, BJP's leader of Opposition Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, R.P. Singh among others.

Sources say, a sustained informal campaign has already been kickstarted, starting this Saturday, to discredit Kejriwal in terms of his ‘soft Hindutva' posturing to make sure that the ‘Bhoomi Pujan' remains an exclusive BJP affair, at least in the national capital, where it fears of competition from Kejriwal on the ‘Hindutva' front.

–IANS

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