October 26, 2021 4:56:11 am
Days after a breakaway faction of seven akharas under the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) declared Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Mahanirvani akhara as the outfit’s president, the remaining groups on Monday declared his namesake from the Niranjani akhara as the outfit’s chief, following an election in Prayagraj.
The ABAP president’s post fell vacant after the death of Mahant Narendra Giri – who was found dead in his room in Baghambari Math in Prayagraj last month. The outfit comprises 13 akharas altogether.
Last week, at a meeting in Haridwar, the splinter faction elected ABAP office-bearers – while Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Mahanirvani Akhara was chosen president, Mahant Rajendra Das of Nirmohi Akhara was chosen general secretary.
Das’s appointment comes even as incumbent general secretary has two more years left on his tenure.
The first group comprises seven akharas: Nirmohi, Nirvani, Digamber, Mahanirvani, Atal, Bada Udasin and one faction of the Nirmal akhara which considers Gyan Dev Singh as its president.
The other group also claims to have seven outfits — Niranjani, Juna, Avahan, Anand, Agni, Naya Udasin and a faction of the Nirmal akhara which considers Resham Singh its president.
Speaking on Monday after the second group chose him ABAP president, Mahant Puri of the Niranjani akhara made it clear that the outfit would support the BJP.
“We all know that all the saints and seers are with the BJP because it is the only party that belongs to Ram and Krishna. It is both, our duty and compulsion, to support the BJP, which is needed if we want to save the Sanatan and Hindu Dharma. While the BJP carries every religion with them, other parties create differences between us. It is also possible that if BJP does not come back to power in Uttar Pradesh, construction of the Ram temple might stop,” he said.
Asked about the breakaway group that declared their own ABAP office bearers last week, Puri said the declarations were “meaningless”.
“On October 5, weput forward our agenda and it is our tradition that if an office bearer of the parishad dies before completing his tenure, the post is transferred to someone of the same akhara. Because Mahant Narendra Giri ji belonged to my akhara, I was to be the next president,” he said.
However, Mahant Puri of the Mahanirvani akhara – the splinter group’s choice for ABAP president – said the posts are generally offered on rotation basis and that is why the president post was given to him.
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