Nitish at Sangh yagna

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had called for a "Sangh- mukt Bharat" not too long ago, is likely to share the stage with RSS sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat later this week at a conclave in honour of an 11th century theologian of Hinduism.

By Dipak Mishra in Patna
  • Published 3.10.17
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Patna, Oct. 2: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had called for a "Sangh- mukt Bharat" not too long ago, is likely to share the stage with RSS sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat later this week at a conclave in honour of an 11th century theologian of Hinduism.

The two are expected to participate in a "Dharam Sansad" that is taking place to mark the 1,000th birth anniversary of Ramanuja Acharya, a theologian born in AD 1017 whose teachings had an influence on the Bhakti movement. As part of the gathering, the followers of the sage have organised a yagna at Chandwa village, around 4km from Bhojpur town, on Wednesday.

The JDU is yet to officially announce Nitish's participation but a top party leader confirmed that the chief minister would be present. "What's the big deal? Now that we are in the NDA we have to accept the BJP in its entirety. Even during the earlier JDU-BJP regime, Mohan Bhagwat had met Nitish at the chief minister's janata durbar," said the JDU leader, who requested anonymity.

A top BJP leader also confirmed Nitish's participation. "It will last for just one hour," he said.

"He (Bhagwat) is coming on October 4 specifically to attend the event in Chandwa. In the evening, he will address local RSS workers and return the next morning," RSS state publicity chief Rajesh Kumar Pandey told The Telegraph.

If Nitish does indeed show up for the yagna, it would be a massive volte face by the chief minister who in April 2016 had called upon all non-BJP parties to unite for a "Sangh-mukt Bharat", an India free of the RSS.

The Opposition was quick to ridicule Nitish. RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has remained silent for over a week, tweeted: " Muh Mein Ram, Dimag Mein Nathuram, Tabhi toh bana Palturam."