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JD(U) leader Upendra Kushwaha to take part in Samrat Ashok Shaurya yatra

The 40-km “Samrat Ashok Shaurya yatra” from Vaishaligarh in Vaishali district to Patna’s famed Ashokan site of Kumhrar is being organised by an apolitical forum, Mahtama Phule Samata Parishad.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
Updated: January 25, 2022 6:20:57 am
Upendra Kushwaha (File)

Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha on Monday said that he will take part in a yatra from Vaishaligarh to Kumhrar in Patna to “make people realise the importance” of the emperor Ashok’s legacy. The development comes amid row over “defamatory comments” against the ancient ruler by writer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Daya Prakash Sinha, with the JD(U) continuing its demand for Sinha’s resignation.

The 40-km “Samrat Ashok Shaurya yatra” from Vaishaligarh in Vaishali district to Patna’s famed Ashokan site of Kumhrar is being organised by an apolitical forum, Mahtama Phule Samata Parishad. The yatra has a tagline of Ashok ka apman, nahi sahega Hindustan (India will not tolerate insult of emperor Ashok)”.

Kushwaha told The Indian Express:”We fully endorse the concerns raised by the forum (Mahtama Phule Samata Parishad) organising the yatra to make people realise importance of Ashok’s great legacy. Such reactions are natural after what writer Daya Prakash Sinha said about the ancient king. We stick to our demand of getting back all awards given to the writer”.

A retired IAS officer, Sinha is national convenor of BJP’s cultural cell. He is also vice-president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations. A Padma Shree awardee, he received Sahitya Akamemi award 2021 for his drama, ‘Samrat Ashok’. In a recent interview to a Hindi newspaper, Sinha had likened Ashok to Mughal ruler Aurangzeb and also cited Buddhist literature to refer to him as “Kamashok” and “Chandashok”.

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JD (U) state vice president Jitendra Nath added the yatra was meant to highlight importance of emperor Ashok. “The choice of two historical places somehow related to Ashok is not only apt but would further create awareness among younger generation about Ashok”, said Nath.

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