Ayodhya land deal: Shiv Sena seeks PM Modi’s intervention
Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene to ensure that a “blot of scam” is not there on the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. An editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana on Tuesday said the work on the temple should be “transparent and honest” as it is a matter of “national pride”.
Former Samajwadi Party lawmaker Tej Narayan Pandey and Aam Aadmi Party Parliament member Sanjay Singh have alleged that on March 18 a plot sold for ₹2 crore by two people was bought by the Trust overseeing the temple’s construction for ₹18.5 crore 10 minutes later.
The Trust on Monday said the land was purchased at rates lower than market prices while refuting the allegations of corruption and dismissing demands for a probe into the land deal.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said the allegations and the evidence brought forward are “shocking”. He asked Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, the Trust, and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to clarify their position on the allegations.
“The construction of the Ram temple and the procedure behind it must remain transparent and honest. While there was an expectation that no incident would occur that would hurt the faith of Ram devotees, the suspicious land deal came to light. Whether this is true or not must be clarified at the earliest. The work on the Ram temple is a matter of national pride... if there is a blot of scam then Prime Minister Modi and RSS chief Bhagwat will have to intervene,” the editorial said.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atul Bhatkhalkar slammed the Sena and accused Maharashtra’s ruling party of hurting the Hindu sentiments. He added Shiv Sena should seek the return of ₹1 crore it has contributed to the trust. “People have made donations to the temple with faith and the money is accounted for. If Shiv Sena does not have faith, it should demand the return of ₹1 crore,” he said.