It is not unknown that the BJP uses religion to divide people and polarize the electorate on the eve of elections. History shows that even communal riots were fanned to create communal feelings. Babri Masjid – Ram Janmaboomi issue revived the party from two Lok Sabha seats in 1984 to 76 in 1989. Then onwards it has become the strategy to use religion for taking political mileage during election season. Poll campaign on religious basis is strictly prohibited and candidates are not allowed to divide the people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. However political parties seldom abide by this poll provision. Now the court recently prohibited the candidate to misuse religion during the poll campaign. Still there are ways to gain sympathy in the name of religion and who can better understand this poll strategy than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. October 20 was the successful day for the Prime Minister when he offered prayers at Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand. He did not speak a word of politics but gained a lot of sympathy for himself and his party far more than a number of rallies and speeches could have got. He had to twist the episodes while addressing a 4000-strong gathering near shrine he convinced them that he was the real devotee of Lord Shiva, the God of the shrine and the previous UPA government was not only opposed to him but was also least bothered about the reconstruction of devastated area around the shrine. The Kedar Valley was vastly devastated by flash flood in 2013.
The Prime Minister recounted the past saying that after the deluge he had offered the then Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna 5 crore for reconstruction of Kedarnath temple and then the Congress in principle agreed to accept the offer but the UPA government put pressure on him and he had to retract. It was a serious charge against the UPA government that only due to political rivalry it rejected the voluntary gesture extended by Narendra Modi who had apparently expressed sincerity and devotedness to the cause of the temple. Any other leader would have stopped at throwing allegation against the previous government but Narendra Modi could exploit the situation to the hilt and he did. He said that the Lord Shiva had some bigger scheme to bless him.
He said that he was made Prime Minister by Lord Shiva to serve the cause of the shrine in a better way. The deity of the shrine chose his son to do the bigger reconstruction work, he said. He also recounted another twist in his career when he had come near the shrine to spend time for spiritual gain but returned back in the days of his youth. God destined him to serve the whole country and now he was happy that he got an opportunity to offer his services to 125 crore people. On the eve of elections, the Prime Minister’s address to a small gathering in a remote place was the best example of poll campaign.
The Congress strongly rejected the claim of the Prime Minister and said there was no oral or written proof of this version. PM Modi only spun the story to gain sympathy and tarnish the image of the former government. Party spokesman RPN Singh said the Congress government at that time did a lot of reconstruction work and made the fully torn place suitable for the pilgrims to visit the shrine again. Prime Minister once again proved that he had few equals to mislead the people particularly when it comes to a poll campaign.