VARANSI, MARCH 9: “Har Har Mahadev’’ has subtly replaced the BJP’s oft-repeated ’’Jai Shri Ram’’ with the party hoping to do an Ayodhya in Varanasi where twin blasts killed 14 people. While top BJP leaders like party chief Rajnath Singh, vice-president Kalyan Singh and others visited the city on Wednesday, it was the turn of party’s general secretary Vinay Katiyar to go on a day-long dharna outside the temple today.
‘‘We have called workers to the party headquarters in Lucknow on March 12 to decide on the future course of action against the network of Islamist terrorists. The BJP is not going to sit idle, we will launch an agitation,’’ Katiyar told reporters after holding a day-long dharna outside the Sankatmochan temple. A series of padyatras taken out in different parts of the city today by saints and locals had finally merged into Katiyar’s dharna
The BJP had called for a statewide bandh on Wednesday which has met with success. This explains why the BJP leadership is emboldened to whip-up Hindu sentiments on attacks on the temple. “How long we, the Hindus, will tolerate attacks on our religious shrines. We will pay back in the same coin,’’ said Katiyar to those gathered at the dharna. Former BJP chief Murli Manohar Joshi visited the town today. “It is the outcome of the Mulayam government’s Muslim appeasement. The BJP is shocked,’’ said Joshi.
BJP sources said Rajnath would kickstart a ‘‘rath yatra’’ from Varanasi on March 16.