In the midst of the Maharashtra crisis, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — held its national convention at Agra earlier this week. The main speaker was Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It was odd that Adityanath, who had once patronised and actively supported the formation of the Hindu Vahini, an organisation parallel to the ABVP, should have decided to address a convention of a rival body.
That apart, the atmosphere at the convention was electric. As the chief guest arrived, there were slogans of Jai Shri Ram, Zor se bolo Jai Shri Ram (say loudly, Jai Shri Ram) and Ayodhya to jhalak hai/Kashi Mathura baaki hai (Ayodhya is just a glimpse/Kashi and Mathura are still left). The roars were loudest when the CM referred to Pakistan without naming it. He spoke for more than 40 minutes and only on Hindutva, asserting that every speck of dust in India had Ram, Krishna and Shankar in it.
RJD’s futuristic plan
Bihar’s principal Opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has got a new state president. The previous incumbent, Ramchandra Purve has been sacked and replaced by former MP and Lalu Yadav confidant, Jagadanand Singh. Singh is said to be non controversial and has a calm presence. Local newspapers say Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad’s heir apparent, was not happy with Purve. Elections in Bihar are due in 2020. By replacing Purve with Singh, the strategy is to associate the Rajputs (of whom there are few in numbers) and upper castes with the RJD that is considered a party of Yadavs and Muslims.