NEW DELHI: Is rape accused Kaushlendra Prapannacharya, known as “Falahari Baba” (name inspired by a diet of fruits)close to the Bharatiya Janata Party? The question inspires a resounding ‘yes’ in Alwar, where his ashram has grown in stature since the BJP government came to power. And the self styled godman reportedly makes no secret of his political affiliations.

Inspired by the two sadhvis who pursued Gurmeet Singh for rape until he landed in jail, a young woman decided to go public with her experience in Alwar at the hands of 70 year old ‘Falahari baba’ who raped her when she visited him to donate money. The 21 year old law intern, whose parents are his devotees, came to the ashram to hand over the money. According to her report filed with the Chhatisgarh police as she is a resident of that state, Falahari asked her to wait, raped her and threatened her to keep silent. She did until the Gurmeet Singh case encouraged her to break her silence and report the rape that all had advised her to keep silent about.

Kaushlendra Prapannacharya Falahari, clearly panic stricken,has admitted himself in a hospital with “high blood pressure’, as soon as the rape case was filed by her. His aide and a Alwar district BJP leader have both alleged a “‘conspiracy”’ against Falahari. “

"There is a conspiracy to defame saints, I cannot say anything on the charge. Babaji is currently hospitalized," his main sewadar or aide told reporters.

Falahari has been a declared supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the locals. He was present at a recent meeting addressed by BJP President Amit Shah. The MP from Alwar was a sadhu brought in by the party from Haryana Mahant Chandnath. He defeated a BJP rebel Jaswant Singh Yadav convincingly. Chandnath, died a few days ago with Alwar now preparing for a by poll. This case against Falahari could thus, have not come at a worse time for the BJP.

The BJP, however, had decided to move away from the godmen for the bypoll and repose its faith in the sizeable Yadav community in Alwar that is already communally polarised, with some of its members having been named in the Pehlu Khan murder. All charges against them were recently dropped as the police found a cow shelter owners alibi that the six accused in Khan’s dying declaration were with him at the time of his murder, reason enough. There is a sizeable Meo community in this parliamentary constituency with the BJP clearly optimistic that polarisation will work in its favour, regardless of the farmers stir and development issues. Besides the party has decided to counter the distinct anti-Vasundhara Raje sentiment in Alwar and Rajasthan into a pro-Modi wave by fielding the Prime Minister as the main campaigner.

The Congress remains absent from the field. However, the BJP is worried about the ramifications of the Falahari rape case more so as in public perception he remains close to the ruling party.