Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Uttar Pradesh’s Sant Kabir Nagar district today, a visit that is also seen to signal the launch of the BJP’s campaign for 2019 general elections in the state.
In the 2014 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party made Varanasi the epicentre of the BJP’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh and he won the Lok Sabha seat from there.
On the banks of River Ganga, Varanasi is considered among India’s holiest cities and is visited by thousands of pilgrims each day in search of enlightenment.
For 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Prime Minister has chosen Maghar, which is about 200 km from Varanasi and has been considered, by the superstitious, as a ‘gateway to hell’. It is said that anyone who dies in Maghar will go straight to hell.
It is a superstition that the 15th century poet Kabir – known for his message of tolerance – had sought to dispel when he travelled to Maghar to breathe his last.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sant Kabir Nagar is high on symbolism.
He will offer floral tributes and a ‘chadar’ at Kabir’s ‘mazaar’ in Maghar on the occasion of the 500th death anniversary of the great saint and poet.
He is scheduled to visit the Sant Kabir Cave and lay the foundation stone of a Sant Kabir Academy that Yogi Adityanath’s government hurriedly cleared at its meeting on Wednesday. The academy is being set up to highlight the saint’s teachings and philosophy.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate a two-day ‘Kabir Mahotsav’ at Maghar. The festival has been organised by the Ministry of Culture and will also be attended by Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
PM Modi will now fly directly to Maghar in Sant Kabir Nagar district from Lucknow, instead of landing first at Gorakhpur airport that was closed on Wednesday after rainwater flooded the runway.
During his monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recalled the contribution of the 15th-century poet-saint in dispelling superstition.
According to history, Kabir Das breathed his last in Maghar despite the common belief that whoever dies there does not reach heaven, he had said.
“Just as the Prime Minister gave a message from the Gorakhnath peeth in Gorakhpur in 2014, he will give a message from the nirvanasthali of Kabir Das this time,” BJP’s zonal vice president Satyendra Sinha said.