Don't indulge in politics at Maha Kumbh, SP warns BJP

NEW DELHI: The Samajwadi Party has cautioned the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to not use the Mahakumbh as a platform to gain political points as they might face action from the state government.

SP leader Ram Ashrey Kushwaha was quoted by the Times of India as saying that the BJP leaders are free to visit the shrine in Uttar Pradesh but should not get involved in politics.

The BJP rebutted SP's warning saying that the Maha Kumbh was not a private property of the party.

BJP leader Kalraj Mishra was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the SP cannot decide who goes to the Mahakumbh and that their responsibility is restricted to only smooth conduct of the event.

Earlier, Narendra Modi's visit to Allahabad triggered rumours that the Vishnu Hindu Parishad (VHP), an ideological part of the Sangh Parivar, would push for the candidature of Narendra Modi for PM's post.

However, according to sources, the Gujarat chief minister's visit be "purely religious, without political overtones" adding that he would not meet the VHP, the organisers of the Kumbh.

Uttar Pradesh BJP sources said they would have liked to arrange a workers' meeting with Modi. "But given that he has such tight security, it might not be possible. Of course, there's a huge demand from our workers," a BJP office-bearer in Lucknow said.

The VHP, desperately latching on to Modi and the BJP for a lifeline, had earlier given the impression that it was about to lend its voice to the "Modi-for-PM" chorus at the Kumbh.

Its former president, Ashok Singhal, had claimed that the congregation of clerics on February 6 and 7 would make a "dhamakedar" (big bang) announcement and did not contradict speculation it was about Modi's projection as the BJP's candidate for Prime Minister in 2014. (Agencies)