Former BJP MP Mahant Avaidyanath, who was one of the leading lights of the Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya, died following prolonged illness in Gorakhpur Friday. He was also the former chief priest of Gorakhnath Temple and guru of BJP’s firebrand leader and Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath.
Avaidyanath (95) was admitted to Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon, three months ago and was on ventilator for the past few days. He was moved to Guru Gorakhnath Hospital on the temple campus in Gorakhpur by an air-ambulance Friday evening. He died around 9 pm.
Adityanath accompanied Avaidyanath from Gurgaon to Gorakhpur.
Avaidyanath was elected MLA from Maniram Assembly segment five times – 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974 and 1977. He was elected Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur as an Independent candidate in 1970 and won again in 1989 as candidate of Hindu Mahasabha. He was elected MP from the same seat in 1991 and 1996 as BJP nominee.
Adityanath took deekhsha from Avaidyanath in February 1994 who declared him as his successor.
Adityanath, too, won from Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat for five consecutive terms.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Avaidyanath, saying “he will be remembered for his patriotic zeal and determined efforts to serve society”.
“Saddened over the demise of Mahant Avaidyanath ji. He will be remembered for his patriotic zeal and determined efforts to serve society,” the Prime Minister said.
BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal, too, expressed grief over Avaidyanath’s demise.
BJP spokesperson of Gorakhpur region Satyendra Sinha said the party has cancelled the two-day training camp of party workers of Gorakhpur region that was scheduled to begin in Kushi Nagar Saturday.
Satyendra said Avaidyanath’s body would be placed in the temple for public to pay tributes on Saturday.He will be buried on the temple campus Sunday according to the rituals of Sant Samaj.