TNI Bureau: Gujarat Chief Minister might not be invited to the priests meet organised by the RSS, but his name was heard at the Maha Kumbh. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the RSS affiliate, endorsed Modi as the BJP’s candidate for Prime Minister in the 2014 polls.
While RSS said that the BJP will decide its PM candidate, the VHP supported Modi openly at a gathering of 2 lakh priests at the Kumbh mela.
VHP leader Ashok Singhal said that Modi was a mascot for Hindutva, who had helped the BJP to win the Gujarat polls in Muslim dominated areas without giving tickets to any Muslim. Even though, the VHP did not have good relations with Modi in the recent past after Modi tried to change his image from hardline Hindutva leader to a preacher of good governance, Modi seems to be the first choice for the saints’ community.
Earlier in the day, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat endorsed a resolution passed by the VHP on the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. He had however avoided the question on endorsing Modi as BJP’s PM candidate. He simply said that Modi is his friend. He said that Ram temple was the priority. “To lay the foundation of Ram Mandir is a matter of our faith and our identity,” Bhagwat said.
BJP president Rajnath Singh attended the priests meet and supported the temple demand. He said that BJP is committed to build the Ram temple.