GUWAHATI: The Kamakhya temple premises, which had fallen silent since the pandemic hit the country, is buzzing back to life again, thanks to the upcoming assembly election in the state. Every leader worth his salt on campaign in Assam, is making a beeline for the holy shrine to seek the blessings of the deity.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, all visited the temple before hitting the campaign trail.
Most VVIP candidates, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah, have toured upper Assam, which goes to the polls in the first phase on March 27 and missed Kamakhya because it is far away. But the ensuing second and third phase elections, slated for April 1 and 6, covering lower and central Assam districts, have suddenly increased footfall at the temple.
Yogi Adityanath visited the Kamakhya temple for the second time after becoming the chief minister. Kamrup and Kamakhya are two spots close to his heart. He landed in Guwahati to attend three rallies on a single day on Wednesday. One was at Rangiya, a little away from the city. Yogi did not forget to connect with the 40L Nath Yogi community with the followers of Guru Gorakhnath in north India.
Yogi hails from the Gorakhnath Math, dedicated to Guru Gorakhnath, also the first guru of the Gorkhas (go-raksha or protector of the cow). The Assam connection of Yogi’s guru dates back to mythological times, when it is believed that Gorakhnath’s mentor and founder of the Natha sampradaya, Matsyendranath, learnt tantrism in ancient Kamrupa or present day Assam. “Guru Matsyendranath came to Kamrup and according to legend brought tantra vidya with him to the present day north India,” said doloi (president of the Kamakhya Temple Trust Board) Mohit Chandra Sarma, as he came out of the VIP rest room of the temple trust, with Yogi.
The chief minister shied away from the media, but the darshan of the Kamakhya temple with his cabinet colleague Mahendra Singh and BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia was a must. This mirrored the deep faith Yogi has in the revered seat of tantrism. His convoy would first stop at Kamakhya before he went to attend rallies. The brief visit during a busy poll schedule was not enough for him, as Sarma said the chief minister has promised them another visit soon. The Hojai, Kalaigaon and Rangiya seats, where he blew the poll bugle on Wednesday, have some of the oldest concentrations of the Nath Yogis.
A visit to the Shakti peeth is considered pious before launching any important task and this firm belief brought sitting MLA from East Gauhati and minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya to the temple minutes before Yogi’s visit. Cine personality turned-MLA Angoorlata Deka, key strategist of her party, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and other legislators from the ruling saffron coalition have been visiting the Kamakhya temple in the last few weeks. “Many came even before their tickets were confirmed. But when they got the green signal to contest the polls, they never missed Kamakhya’s blessings,” the priest added.
The trend is not confined to one party. Former Aasu president Sankar Prasad Rai, who is contesting from Bongaigaon on a Congress ticket, is among the opposition leaders, who have visited the temple. He has been eyeing Bongaigaon, which is the fort of regionalism.
“I prayed to Ma Kamakhya today to give me strength to work for the people,” said Siddhartha Bhattacharya, East Guwahati MLA and cabinet minister, who visited the temple on Wednesday.