Photos of religious guru, Morari Bapu, attending a ‘fund-raising function’ of Sardar Patel Hospital has gone viral on social media platforms. This is after the Gujarat chief minister, Vijay Rupani, demanded resignation of Ahmed Patel from Rajya Sabha because one of the men arrested on the charges of terrorism was employed by the same hospital.
Ahmed Patel has already rubbished the claims by saying that he resigned from the hospital way back in 2013. Former finance minister P Chidambaram too has defended his senior party colleague arguing that he had resigned from the hospital’s board of trustee before the man in question was employed there.
In a photo of Morari Bapu going viral on social media, the popular Hindu saint is seen attending a function organised to raise funds for the hospital. This has given a fresh set of ammunition to Congress supporters and other social media users, who wondered if Morari Bapu too was anti-national.
Said one Congress source, who wished to remain anonymous, “Does Rupani imply that Morari Bapu too should be accused of promoting terrorism? Morari Babpu ji has been associated with the hospital for a long time. He had attended several programmes organsied by the same hospital to raise funds. But, the desperate BJP will question every noble act because it wants to win the elections at any cost.”
In another recent photo, Morari Bapu, who enjoys considerable support in Gujarat, is seen attending a programme organised by the same hospital that Rupani has accused of employing a ‘terrorist.’
Congress supporters are asking that if being a trustee of the hospital made Ahmed Patel’s credential suspicious, the BJP must also ‘muster courage’ to question Morari Bapu’s credentials too.’
Said a local Congress leader in Gujarat, “BJP’s hypocrisy is exposed. They will never have courage to question Morari Bapu because questioning the integrity of this popular saint will spell disaster for the saffron party.’
The latest photo of Morari Bapu is from October 2016, when he was the guest along with the then President Pranab Mukherjee to inaugurate Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar. Also present was Ahmed Patel, who was appraised by Morari Bapu from the stage. Morari Bapu had termed Patel’s work to take the healthcare facilities to ‘adivaasi (tribal)’ as a noble effort.
Analysts say that Rupani’s latest claims smack of his nervousness ahead of the December elections. His government is facing considerable anger from the voters and the saffron party is developing cold feet on the prospects of losing the elections this time around.
By creating an ‘imaginary’ story and giving it a communal colour, Rupani and his party believe that this will help them polarise the votes since the BJP is struggling to explain the uncomfortable questions on the so-called Gujarat Model.