A confluence of religion and politics at the Kumbh

In an unprecedented move, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is planning to hold its Cabinet meeting on the ghats of the Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. The city was renamed Prayagraj last year. While an official announcement has not yet been made, a senior BJP leader said “there is a possibility” that the Cabinet meeting will be held at the Kumbh Mela on January 28 or 29. The government wants to hold the meeting before the budget session that starts on February 5. Promoting Prayagraj The official Kumbh Mela website also mentions this. Under upcoming events, it says: “For the first time, the Cabinet meeting of the Uttar Pradesh government will happen not in Lucknow but in the Kumbh Mela. The meeting will be convened on January 29.” Ardh Kumbh was renamed Kumbh by the Adityanath government last year. Shrikant Sharma, U.P. Cabinet Minister, told The Hindu the move was part of an exercise to “promote Prayagraj across the country and the world” to encourage tourists and pilgrims to visit the Sangam city as well as U.P. Mr. Sharma said that it was necessary to highlight the Kumbh, as the Akshay Vat tree and the Saraswati Koop located inside Akbar’s Fort at the Sangam would be open to the public for the first time in 450 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made the announcement about public access to these two holy Hindu sites during a visit to Allahabad last month. Cong. questions move Congress State spokesperson Onkarnath Singh questioned the government’s move, saying the arrival of so many VIPs at the Mela would disrupt security arrangements. He said it was only a stunt to distract people and the seers from the failures of the BJP government. The Yogi Adityanath government also plans to ferry around 2,000 NRI delegates, visiting Varanasi for the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, to the Kumbh on January 24.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/a-confluence-of-religion-and-politics-at-the-kumbh/article26056039.ece

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