Battle for UP: A saint should not be CM, says seer


Prayagraj (UP), Jan 25 : Swami Avimukteshwaranand, a prominent saint, has kicked up a storm by stating that a saint cannot and should not be a chief minister as after taking the oath of secularism as a constitutional dignitary, he cannot remain 'religious'. In an apparent reference to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the seer said, "No man can abide by two pledges. A saint can be a 'mahant' but not a chief minister or prime minister. This is possible in the 'khilafat' system of Islam in which the religious head also happens to be the king." The seer, who is attending the Magh Mela in Prayagraj, also expressed concern over the alleged mismanagement in organising the annual event this year. "The Magh Mela has been greatly ignored this year. Some saints have gone to the extent of threatening fast and self-immolation too. If the leaders are busy in elections, can't the government officials properly manage the fair?" he asked. He also questioned the sudden rise of water level in the Ganga which has inconvenienced the saints and devotees. Swami Avimukteshwaranand asked, "Why is the water level not being controlled when the government has the mechanism to regulate the flow in rivers? Owing to the sudden rise in the water level, many people had to shift their tents." On the alleged interference of politics in religion, the seer accused all political parties of making transgression into religion. He said all parties have transgressed into politics and the trend is no longer limited to merely having ties with saints and seers but they are installing their men on key religious positions. He said political parties are seeking to occupy the religious positions with their votaries to advance their views. "Some people in the country want religious gurus to speak in their language and that is why the people propagating religion, following its 'old books', are irritating them and a policy to remove such people is at work. Commenting on the ongoing UP Assembly elections, the Swami said, "The people should elect the right man and right party so that they are not left repenting after the formation of the government. The people must not commit the same error in the elections ahead." /IANS


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