Vidhyavasini Devi Temple pandas oppose govt’s control

A delegation of pandas (priests) of Vidhyavasini Devi Temple in Mirzapur is likely to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday in protest against the state government’s proposal to take over the management at the highly revered shaktipeeth.

Written by Express News Service | Allahabad | Published: June 11, 2013 3:40 am

A delegation of pandas (priests) of Vidhyavasini Devi Temple in Mirzapur is likely to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday in protest against the state government’s proposal to take over the management at the highly revered shaktipeeth.

The pandas are demanding that the proposal be dropped forthwith. They also questioned the logic of such a proposal when the ruling party is claiming to be well-wishers of Brahmins.

President of Shree Vindhya Panda Samaj (SVPS) Rajan Pathak said: “A 10-member delegation is leaving for Lucknow from Mirzapur tonight. We are likely to meet the Chief Minister and the SP president tomorrow.”

Pathak said pandas are demanding withdrawal of the proposal as it would impinge on the livelihood of 10,000 panda families attached to the temple,which attracts thousands of visitors every day.

Asked if representatives of the Samaj have already met any office-bearers of the Samajwadi Party,Pathak said there has been no formal meeting. “But we have got a message from them that they would facilitate our meeting with the leaders who matter,so that we can voice our demands,” said Pathak.

K C Pandey,head of the Samajwadi Party’s Brahmin Sabha,said he had received a memorandum from representatives of the Panda Samaj and had immediately got in touch with Mulayam and Akhilesh. “I have been assured that the party will never take any decision that would harm the interests of pandas,” said Pandey,also a national secretary in the SP. “The panda and purohit samaj from all religious places,including Haridwar and Allahabad,support us.”

BJP’s regional secretary (Kashi Prant) Manoj Jaiswal said the party would launch an agitation if the demands of the pandas were not met.

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