Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has reportedly refused to wear a skull cap at poet-saint Kabir mausoleum in Maghar, prompting the Congress to take potshots at him.
Adityanath was in Maghar yesterday (June 27) to take stock of the preparations ahead Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Sant Kabir Samadhi today.
When the UP Chief Minister visited the mausoleum, the caretaker, Khadim Hussain, offered him a skull cap. As Hussain moved to place the cap on the Chief Minister's head, Adityanath politely declined, reported Financial Express.
Khadim is then said to have requested the Chief Minister to hold the cap in hand, to which Yogi agreed and later posed for a photo with the skull cap in his hand with Khadim standing next to him.
Congress was quick to react to this, with Pramod Tiwari saying that Adityanath should have worn the cap as "a gesture to show respect". "It would not have changes your religion neither hurt you religious sentiment," the FE report quoted Tiwari as saying.
Smajwadi Party lashed out at Adityanath, calling the entire episode as "heights of hypocrisy". SP's Sunil Sajan said "such people should not go the Kabir dhaam."
UP minister Mohsin Raza came out in defence of Adityanath and asked what crime has the CM committed by refusing to wear the cap.
"I am Muslim but I never wear a cap. Does this mean I am not a Muslim? Has he (Yogi Adityanath) committed a crime by doing so? Who told you to make him wear a cap? Why don't you go to a temple, stand with people there, congratulate them? Change your thought." Raza reportedly said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sound the poll bugle for 2019 from Maghar, in Uttar Pradesh which is often referred to as the Gateway to Hell. The choice of Maghar is an interesting one. The superstition is that anyone who dies in Maghar goes to hell. This was however sought to be dispelled by 15th century poet Kabir who travelled to Maghar to breathe his last.
A statement by the PMO read, that Modi would offer floral tributes at the Sant Kabir Samadhi on the occasion of his 500th death anniversary. He will also visit the Sant Kabir Cave and lay the foundation stone for a Sant Kabir Academy.
The choice of venue is an interesting one. It could act as an outreach to Kabir's followers many of them who are either Dalits and Muslims. The move is an interesting one as Modi has often being accused of being anti-Dalit and anti-minority by the opposition.