A poster reportedly created by Varanasi-based BJP worker Rupesh Pandey depicting top leaders of different political parties as Kauravas from Mahabharata, and showing newly appointed party state president Keshav Prasad Maurya as Lord Krishna, created uproar in political circles. Samajwadi Party workers torched copies of posters of these photographs and also burnt Maurya’s effigy.
In the picture, top leaders of the BSP, Congress, SP and AIMIM have been depicted as Kauravas, indulging in ‘cheer haran’ of Uttar Pradesh, which takes on the character of Draupadi.
BSP supremo Mayawati has been depicted as responsible for corruption, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for poverty and unemployment, UP minister Azam Khan for communalism, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for hooliganism, and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for sedition. Pandey, a former RSS worker, said these politicians are indulging in “cheer haran of Uttar Pradesh”.
To stop that, he said, the BJP has appointed Maurya as the party’s state president to play the role of Lord Krishna, and whose job it will be to “protect the state”.
Pandey also claims that it was his “personal opinion” to show politicians as evil characters of Mahabharata. Before displaying the picture in the form of hoardings, Pandey had reportedly posted it on social media.
He had planned to use the hoardings to welcome Maurya, who arrived in Varanasi Friday evening. Pandey, was, however, stopped by the party’s local unit from putting up such hoardings.
As the image went viral, BJP drew criticism from other political parties. The Congress condemned the circulation of such posters on social media and alleged that after using the name of Lord Ram, BJP is now using Krishna for “personal gains”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to hide his shortcomings by inciting religious sentiments. Congress condemns the posters. After misusing Ram’s name for the past 21 years, they are now misusing Krishna’s,” said party’s state communication department chairman Satyadeo Tripathi.
BJP’s Kashi region media in-charge Sanjay Bhardwaj said that the party has no association with the posters released by Rupesh Pandey. “The party’s regional president, Laxman Acharya ji, has also said that he will probe the intention behind the posters’ content,” Bhardwaj said.