Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar today defended the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on his "toilets first, temples later" remark, saying the Gujarat chief minister is the "right person" to lead the country.
"Modi is the right person to lead India as he is going in the right direction to benefit the masses. This will naturally irritate the opponents," Kumar said in a statement issued at Palampur near here.
Praising Modi for highlighting the need for toilets over temples, Kumar said, "It is really a
matter of pride that Narendra Modi has established himself as the central point of Indian politics and directing the nation for needed debates over his ideas".
Criticising those who object the idea of toilets above temples "for the sake of political gains," Kumar said, "everybody has to start the daily routine from toilets before entering the temples, and when the majority doesn't have hygienic toilet conditions, how can they worship the Lord with purity."
He further said, "It is really a sorry state, that we are unable to provide clean toilets to nearly 60 per cent of the population even after 65 years of Independence."
Attacking the Centre for not being able to provide clean toilets, Kumar said that the government is eager to provide mobiles and laptops to public instead of addressing their need for proper sanitation and that 50 per cent of diseases spread due to lack of such facilities.
Noting that Modi is following in the footsteps of Swami Vivekananda, Kumar said "after feeling the horrible state of poverty in rural India, a person like Swami Vivekananda left the idea of 'Moksha' and helped 'Daridranarayana' (poorest of the poor)."