Black paint smeared on Narendra Modi posters in Varanasi

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Samajwadi Party workers on Monday smeared black paint on posters of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi following a row over a slogan.

The slogan – “Har-har Modi, ghar-ghar Modi” – has upset many religious leaders and political parties including the Samajwadi Party; they say the slogan was disrespectful to Lord Shiv.

After the objection, Mr. Modi himself requested his supporters to refrain from using it.

But, angry Samajwadi Party workers protested against the slogan and accused the BJP of equating Mr. Modi to Mahadev.

SP supporters and workers have also released posters mocking it. Their posters said: “Thar-thar Modi, dar-Dar Modi (Modi is afraid, shivering)”.

These posters by party leader Arun Gupta have been plastered all across important places in Allahabad.

While the BJP had been using the slogan in many of its public rallies and election campaigns, state leaders abandoned the slogan on Sunday in wake of the controversy.

Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati, is the latest person to be offended by the slogan and registered a strong protest with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, asking him to stop such ‘vyakti puja’ (eulogising of an individual).

“I told him that converting ‘Har Har Mahadev’ into ‘Har Har Modi’ must be stopped. Instead of worshipping God, it is an attempt to worship a particular human being, which is against the Hindu religion,” Swaroopanand said.

Union Minister Salman Khurshid also strongly opposed the slogan and requested the Election Commission to take cognisance of it.