The Arya Samaj Movement, under the leadership of its Spiritual Head Swami Agnivesh, forged an alliance with the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party on Thursday.
Releasing a statement, the Arya Samaj, with its nearly 1,00,000 social-spiritual activists, has confirmed of forging an alliance with 'secular and pro-social-justice political parties in general and with the Congress party in particular'.
"Arya Samaj activists have already started working actively on the ground in support of the Congress Party in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, and Chhattisgarh. In western UP thousands of our workers have sealed the fate of BJP stalwarts like Satya Pal Singh (Baghpat) and Sanjiv Baliayan (Muzaffar Nagar). In Bhopal, we are committed to defeat the rabble-rouser, Pragya Thakur of BJP," the Arya Samaj movement wrote in its statement.
In an exclusive interview with Republic TV on Thursday, Swami Agnivesh rebuffed that the Congress party coined the term 'Hindu terror' adding that the Arya Samaj will be supporting Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal in his fight against BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur
"This absolutely lies that any of the Congress leader has used words like 'Hindu terror'. In Bhopal, Digvijaya Singh made it clear while addressing a press conference. They have been saying it that they do not connect terror to any religion. This is against humanity and oppose any kind of violence. It is a false accusation against the Congress. It is a wrong move by Modi and Amit Shah to create hype to defend Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. The comments she made against Hemant Karkare are highly condemnable. Digvijaya Singh is the candidate from Bhopal and Sadhvi Pragya is contesting against him. I am saying this with full responsibility that terror should not be defined with any religion," the spiritual head of Arya Samaj said.
On being questioned on Congress' appeasement politics of asking for Muslim votes and then moving to 'Hindutva' politics, Swami Agnivesh said:
"I believe that politics gives more importance to economic and social disparities. Congress party has raised such issues in these times and I congratulate them for their efforts. They may go to temple or mosque, it is a sidelining matter."
Later, responding to the question on Digvijaya Singh's contest against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in Bhopal and why the Sadhus are backing the Congress leader, he said:
"Genuine and progressive sadhus are coming in support for Digvijaya Singh. They want Hindu samaj to not get weakened. I do not believe that RSS is the only organisation of 'Hindutva'."
In its statement, Swami Agnivesh claimed that BJP will shrink from its present 282 MP in the Lok Sabha to a maximum of 150 on May 23, adding that with its NDA partners, the tally could go up to 200 MPs. He further claimed that the Congress party will emerge as the largest among the opposition parties, and together with the UPA alliance partners, is likely to touch 300 on the result day. On being questioned about his prediction in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he said:
"I believe that. I have observed the comments of political pundits and we noticed that BJP has come way down. They are frightened which is why they are making controversial remarks."