4:40 pm - Friday November 6, 2015

Kejriwal, his parents forced to leave temple complex

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VARANASI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and his parents moved out from the Sankat Mochan temple complex, where they had been staying since April 15, on Friday morning.

Sources said that there were objections from the devout coming to the te-mple about the spurt of “political activity” there.

Kejriwal and his parents, Gita Devi and Gobind Kejriwal, were guests of the head priest of the renowned Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, Bishambhar Mishra.

This is only one in a series of hostile moves the party is facing here after Kejriwal took on Narendra Modi in an electoral contest. The AAP leader’s meetings have been disrupted twice in the past 12 hours.

The move to shift out could prove symbolically damaging since it displays the lukewarm support in the city. AAP sources said that Kejriwal and his parents had moved to the Durga Kund area near BHU.

Mishra is the head priest of the temple but, more significantly, his father, the late Veer Bhadra Mishra, was acclaimed not only as the head priest but also as a hydraulics engineer who was categorized by Time magazine as one of the “Heroes of the Planet” in 1999 for his campaign to clean the Ganga.

The party, however, chose to see the hostility as a reflection of “frustration” in the Modi camp. “The party which was claiming a wave is now resorting to muscle power to browbeat its rivals, but BJP has forgotten that AAP cannot be cowed down by its strong-arm tactics,” the party said in a statement.

In less than 12 hours, BJP workers have twice attempted to disrupt Kejriwal’s campaign in Varanasi. AAP said its leaders have been pushed and abused by BJP workers.

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