UP deputy CM stirs Hindutva pot, hints at grand temple in Mathura
LUCKNOW Uttar Pradesh’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya stirred the Hindutva pot in the poll-bound state on Wednesday as he tweeted that construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya and Kashi was underway and Mathura would be next.
Maurya is a close aide of former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief late Ashok Singhal, who had led the Ayodhya agitation. His comments led to opposition parties accusing the BJP of playing polarization politics ahead of the 2022 UP polls.
Mathura is part of western UP, where the BJP was expected to incur losses due to the ongoing farmers’ agitation and Maurya’s pinned tweet was seen as a deliberate attempt to queer the pitch.
“Ayodhya aur Kashi mein bhavya mandir nirman jaari hai, Mathura ki taiyyari hai (Grand temples are being constructed in Ayodhya and Kashi and Mathura would be next),” Maurya said in his now viral tweet, which he signed off with three hashtags of Hindu deities: #Jaishri Ram, #Jai Shiv Shambhu, #Jai Shri Radhe Krishna.
Maurya’s tweet coincided with right wing body Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) calling off its proposed programme to place an idol of Lord Krishna at Eidgah that borders the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple to offer ‘jalabhishek’ on December 6.
Section 144, prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons, was already in place in Mathura.
Eidgah, where Muslims offer prayers and Krishna Janmabhoomi are located side by side and Hindu organizations have filed various litigations in Mathura civil court, each of them claiming, that Eidgah was built on the land where Lord Krishna was born.
When contacted, the deputy chief minister said the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya had made “Hindus and Ram bhakts happy.”
He added: “During the time of the Ayodhya agitation, we would raise the slogan that Ayodhya is ours, now is the turn of Kashi and Mathura. The Kashi Vishwanath corridor has come up in Varanasi and naturally it would be the turn of Mathura next.”
Maurya said: “With the blessings of the people, we are confident that the ancient glory of our grand heritage would be restored.”
The Congress and the Samajwadi Party wasted no time in hitting back at the BJP. “The game plan is clear. A day before union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to western UP, a deliberate attempt has been made to polarise the society on religious lines. The BJP is back to Hindu-Muslim politics,” said Zishan Haider, spokesperson. Congress.
Samajwadi Party spokesman IP Singh said the tweet showed that the BJP was feeling the heat. “They are losing and there could be no better confirmation,” he said.
However, UP BJP leader Navin Srivastava defended Maurya. “There is nothing wrong in what Keshav ji said. We all should be proud of our heritage. Shame on these political parties who first tried to stall the construction of Ram temple and now are back to playing their favorite appeasement politics,” sai Srivastava.
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