BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s ‘toilet first, temple later’ comment has put his party in a spot with a Hindutva body and the Congress slamming it for different reasons.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Praveen Togadia described the comment as “insult” to the Hindu society and sought condemnation from the BJP, which had taken rural development minister Jairam Ramesh to task when he had made a similar comment.
Sensing a chance to score some brownie points over the opposition, Ramesh said, "I had also said the same thing, and the BJP had opposed it. It is a matter of regret that nobody defended me then."
The minister known for his controversial comments said that he spoke of toilets out of "conviction" whereas Modi’s remark is out of electoral "compulsion".
"If they (BJP) had got this wisdom 22 years ago, then Indian politics would have been different," Ramesh told reporters on Thursday. "Babri Masjid would not have happened, 1993 blasts would not have happened, Godhra would also not have happened if they (BJP) had got this wisdom then."
Modi had said on Wednesday while addressing students in New Delhi, "My image is that of Hindutva, but I'll tell you my real thinking: I have said, in my state, 'Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya'. (First toilets, then temples),"
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh described Modi’s comment as another example of the Bharatiya Janata Party's double standards asked whether Modi had ever cleaned tiolets.
Congress leader Rajiv Shukla took a jibe at BJP by asking that why BJP was not reacting to Modi toilets first remark. ”He is being projected like this to mislead people, mislead Hindus under a conspiracy to garner votes,” he said.
The only BJP leader to react to the Congress attack, Kirti Azad described the ruling party as a “headless chicken” which fails to the context of what Modi was saying.
Even the Tweeple could not get enough of the temple vs toilet controversy.
Small mercies. W/ the temple toilet ptless debate, at least Jairam Ramesh is back on news TV speaking, inst of the same old Congress faces— Piyul (@Piyul) October 3, 2013
I supported Jairam Ramesh last year, today I am with Narendra Modi - we don't need Browne points on who said what . We need toilets #period— rajivsharma (@rajivWORLD) October 3, 2013
Jairam Ramesh 's Toilets were Secular while NaMo Speaking about Hindu Toilets That's why BJP Opposed Ramesh & supporting NaMo Now @jairam54— Ravi (@scrapravi) October 3, 2013