BJP, Congress trade charges over temple demolition in Rajasthan

NEW DELHI: The Congress and the BJP engaged in a war of words on Friday after two temples were demolished using bulldozers in Rajgarh town of Alwar district in Rajasthan.
Two temples and some shops were demolished early this week on Sunday and Monday in Rajgarh with officials describing the action as part of an anti-encroachment drive to widen a road in the municipal town.
Sharing a video of the incident on Twitter, BJP leader Amit Malviya launched a blistering attack on Congress. He said, “Shedding tears on Karauli and Jahangirpuri and hurting the faith of Hindus — this is the secularism of Congress.”
In another tweet, Amit Malviya alleged, “On 18 April, without issuing any notice, the administration ran bulldozers over the pucca houses and shops of 85 Hindus in Rajgarh town of Rajasthan.
However, the Congress blamed the BJP-ruled Rajgarh municipality for the demolition drive.
State Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara said no collector was asked for or has given permission for demolition.
“The municipal board, after orders from its president, took the decision. Govt has taken immediate action and has put restrictions. We’ve given orders to place idols back,” Dotasara said.
Dotasara said the removal of Alwar temple’s encroachment started during previous rule of the BJP govt.
He blamed the BJP for creating religious unrest.
“This has always been BJP’s agenda. As polls come, they spread religious unrest to make political chapatis,” the Rajasthan Congress chief said.
However, reacting to the controversy over temple demolition, Alwar district magistrate said “A consensus decision was taken during the municipality meeting to remove the illegal encroachments present on the roadside. Before the encroachment drive, the temple priests shifted the idols to another place.”
Alwar, Rajasthan | A consensus decision was taken during the municipality meeting to remove the illegal encroachmen…— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) 1650633088000
Meanwhile, Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia has constituted a 5-member committee for factual investigation of the Rajgarh (Alwar) temple case.
“This committee will go to the spot, prepare a factual report and submit the report to me,” Poonia said.
Rajasthan minister Mahesh Joshi said Congress does not use religion for vote bank. “It has become a fashion; issues are made in the name of temples now. We respect temples, we are more religious than people from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)