Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video editor: Puneet Bhatia
"We want Yogi in power everywhere so that he can protect us. If Yogi doesn't return to power, such events (like Dharam Sansads) will be impossible to conduct."
Those were the words of Swami Anand Swaroop, a member of the Dharam Sansad core committee and one of the key organisers of the Prayagraj Dharam Sansad event, where there were multiple instances of hate speech and calls for anti-Muslim violence.
Speakers at the same event used the Dharam Sansad platform to make repeated appeals asking people to vote for Yogi and get him back in power.
On the eve of the event, Swami Anand Swaroop had said, "Our message to our devotees is that Yogi hai toh sab hoga. If Yogi is there, then everything (we want) will happen. So, please vote for Yogi and get him back in power."
'We Will Campaign for Yogi Across UP'
Bhairavdas Maharaj, one of the sadhus who was involved in venue management at the Prayagraj Dharam Sansad event, remarked, "We are sadhus of the BJP. BJP is like the crown of us sadhus. We will go to villages across the state and ask people to vote for Yogi."
On being asked whether the event was a Dharam Sansad or an election sansad, he replied, "We want Yogi, we want Yogi! Yes, you can call this a campaigning event. Yogi is ours, and we will campaign for him."
'Yogi Not in Power (Due to MCC) and Bureaucracy is Pressuring Us Already'
Swami Anand Swaroop remarked, "We appealed to people to go and vote for Yogi, because look, Yogi is not in power for 20 days (due to the Model Code of Conduct), and the bureaucracy is pressuring us already. They made efforts to not allow this event which talks about creating a Hindu Rashtra. This is why, if a jihadi government comes back to power, they will not let us be."
Note that not only did the Prayagraj Dharam Sansad event take place, it happened right in front of a large number of personnel of the UP Police. And despite the multiple instances of hate speech and calls to violence made at the event, neither the police nor the Election Commission has been reported to have taken any action on the matter.