On the third day of back-to-back campaigning in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday visited the famous Gadwaghat Ashram, a place most revered by the Yadavs.
Modi drove to the ashram at around 10.30 a.m. Hundreds of people lined the route to the ashram and shouted “Modi, Modi” as the Prime Minister’s cavalcade passed.
He was welcomed by the management of the ashram and many seers offered him garlands made of rudraksh beads.
Modi responded to his welcome by bowing to the saints and talking to them with folded hands.
The ashram has over a crore followers and is said to have a powerful say in the political decision making of the Yadav community.
The Prime Minister then walked up to the ‘gaushala’, the cattle shed where he fed the cows with fodder and ‘gud’ (jaggery).
After the ‘gau seva’, he took a round of the campus decorated with marigold and rose flowers for the high-profile visit.
Modi later met the head of the ashram Guru Sharandanand and was closeted with him for over ten minutes.
Since many years, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has been coming to the ashram to seek blessings during elections.
Modi last year visited the Sant Ravidas temple here on the saint’s anniversary and had won hearts of many Dalits for whom Ravidas is a venerated spiritual guru.
The move was seen as a ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party to dent the Dalit votebank of Mayawati.