BJP Exposed: BJP fired Ex Uttarakhand CM for restricting Kumbh amid Covid19
| Saturday | 8th May, 2021
The current chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat, who was an RSS pracharak, has consistently refused to accept that the Kumbh was a super-spreader event.
A series of interviews with over a dozen Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, mahants of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, and various officers associated with the Haridwar Mahakumbh revealed that the former chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat was fired overnight in March 2021 for insisting that Mahakumbh should be restricted.
At least five mahants and two BJP leaders confirmed that the ABAP, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and some Uttarakhand cabinet ministers wanted the state to host the grand Mahakumbh with minimal COVID-19 restrictions in place, but Trivendra insisted on a “pratikatmak”—symbolic—festival. The conversations with the mahants also revealed that they had pushed for the Kumbh to be held in 2021, based on the reading of astrological charts by jyotishs and tantriks—instead of 2022, as per the usual cycle of 12 years normally followed for the Hindu festival.
“Kumbh was allowed to happen because the Uttar Pradesh polls are in the next eight months,” said a senior BJP leader. “It made no sense to annoy a friendly ally just a year before elections.” The senior leader was referring to the akharas, which are militant ascetic orders and wield immense influence in Hindu communities in the Hindi heartland. He explained that deferring the Kumbh would be a heavy loss of support and earnings for the mahants who lead the akharas, with a mass following in Uttar Pradesh. The overall turnover of the Kumbh was expected to be in thousands of crores, he said.
The senior BJP leader said that in one meeting in 2019, the prime minister Narendra Modi told Trivendra that the Mahakumbh is a prestigious Hindu festival and that “the akharas should not be upset with his preparations. It should take place without any ‘controversy.’”
Unsurprisingly, the Kumbh has been termed a super-spreader event by experts and the media. On the day of the first shahi snan, 11 March, Uttarakhand had recorded 69 cases. By 27 April, this had increased to 5,703 new COVID-19 cases.
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