RJD-JD-U leaders believe Dhirendra Krishna Shastri's visit is part of the BJP's 2024 poll strategy.
Politics heats up in Bihar ahead of Dhirendra Krishna Shastri's visit to Patna later this week.
Shastri -- who heads the Bageshwar Dham in Madhya Pradesh -- will be a star narrator at the Hanuman Katha event to be held from May 13 to 17 near the Taret Pali Math in Naubatpur block, about 20 km from Patna.
Senior leaders from Bihar's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal have threatened to act against Shastri -- who is a controversial figure -- if he violated the laws of the land.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders -- including two Union ministers, the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar assembly and the state BJP president -- on the other hand dared RJD leaders to take action against Shastri.
Bihar Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and state Education Minister Chandrasekhar reminded the BJP that Lal Kishenchand Advani was arrested in Samastipur in October 1990 by then chief minister Lalu Prasad's government, ending the then BJP president's Rath Yatra.
'We will oppose him (Shastri) and take action against him if he creates a communal divide,' warned Tej Pratap, RJD chief Lalu Prasad's elder son, who is known to be extremely religious. A warning echoed by state Minister Chandrasekhar.
Two other RJD leaders and Bihar Ministers Surendra Prasad Yadav and Surendar Ram and senior Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar Minister Ashok Choudhary have also criticised Shastri.
'People will blacken the faces of those defaming the Hindu saint,' declared Vijay Kumar Sinha, the BJP's Leader of the Opposition.
According to political observers in Patna, the RJD and JD-U believe Shastri's Patna visit is part of the BJP's 2024 poll strategy to draw Hindu voters to its side.
Senior BJP leaders and Union Minister Giriraj Singh and Ashwani Kumar Choubey have dared Nitish Kumar's Mahagathbandhan government to arrest Shastri or stall his visit to Patna.
Violence had inflamed communal sentiments in Biharsharif town in Nalanda district and Sasaram town in Rohtas district during the Ram Navami Shobha Yatra in April.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com