VARANASI: The Bharatiya Janata Party is putting up a show of unity and togetherness, just following a bit of template of its own campaign Mera Parivar BJP Parivar, an axiom that it has banked upon since 2017 to win hearts of Hindi heartland states.
Twelve visiting chief ministers of BJP ruled states — Assam, Haryana, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka among others , who arrived in Varanasi to attend the launch of mega Kashi Vishwanath Corridor — on Wednesday left for Ayodhya early morning as each one of them spoke in turn to The New Indian, saying India under PM Narendra Modi is an “imperishable” confluence of the ancient and the new that needs to be discovered and preserved.
While PM Modi left for Delhi after spending time with them first at the corridor launch, then at Diesel Locomotive Workshop, they all continue to put up a show of solidarity as they travel in Uttar Pradesh.
They are being shepherded by BJP national president and chief J P Nadda, who is travelling with them to each site.
“It’s a privilege that I am part of this family. Today we all are travelling to Ayodhya,” the BJP president told The New Indian.
Most of them are accompanied by their spouses. It’s day four of their stay in Uttar Pradesh, showing the functioning of BJP as a well-oiled unit.
They accuse Congress and Samajwadi Party of relegating India’s rich traditions, history, faith and values while insisting they have all come on their own as “new chapters of glory are being written from Somnath Temple to Ramjanambhoomi in Ayodhya to Kedarnath shrine to optical fibre in sea to new milestones in space science.
“This is my privilege. I am for the first time here in Kashi. From boat ride to seeing Aarti in Ganga. Today we visited the mandir. I have deep respect and emotions for each of India’s tradition and that’s what my party BJP is doing. I thank PM and my colleague Yogi Adityanath for connecting us to our roots. I am today visiting Ayodhya now. As a child, I used to hear tales of Ayodhya. Originality of any shrine must never be lost. This is the glory we must take pride in. This is the new India which connects us with ancient India. And I’m loving it,” Arunachal CM Pema Khandu told The New Indian.
Expressing regret that no other leader showed a desire to visit Varanasi or Kedarnath in the recent past, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chauhan cautioned that restoration of any shrine must never be looked through prism of elections. He invoked Swami Vivekanand – whose religious teachings have also inspired the origin of the BJP — to press the spirit of desire to complete range of works as being done by PM Narendra Modi.
“I am reminded of Swami Vivekanand who was named by a moniker Narendra as I look PM Modi’s initiatives. India is opening its eyes again to announce it to the world that it’s a leader of traditions and development with assertion. To take a resolve to repair a temple almost 350-500 years after Ahliyabai Holkar did it, the Kashi Vishwanath corridor development is reconstruction of India as a whole,” Chauhan told The New Indian.
“BJP respects the principles of civil society that has given each one of us birth. For us, its extreme happiness and moment of joy that we came here. It’s sad that no other leader of political party came here,” he added.
Tripura CM Biplab Deb recalled his previous visits to Varanasi while saying that the iconic places of the city were not recognisable in the maze of cramped lanes, dangling electricity wires and worn-out roads.
“We had to crane and adjust our necks to move through the city’s streets to visit any place of faith. Such was the deteriorating condition. Isn’t it admirable that PM Narendra Modi has given a new identity to Varanasi which houses our matters of faith. Wide streets, symbols of religion are looking new and people are visiting here with a sense of pride. Just like what the PM has done to the North East. Trust me, if I came to UP earlier, people here wouldn’t have recognised me, Pema Khandu or Manipur CM Biren ji . But now people can say that these are our own state CMs and working for us. Which is why we came here to support him and Yogi ji,” Deb told The New Indian.