Lok Sabha polls 2024: BJP will construct grand temple in Bihar’s Sitamarhi, says Amit Shah

Amit Shah also asserted that Pakistan occupied Kashmir belonged to India and that it would be taken back “at any cost”

Published - May 16, 2024 07:53 pm IST - Patna

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting for Lok Sabha polls in Sitamarhi, Bihar, on May 16, 2024.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting for Lok Sabha polls in Sitamarhi, Bihar, on May 16, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the party would construct a grand temple dedicated to the goddess Sita in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district. Mr. Shah was addressing an electoral meeting in Sitamarhi to back a National Democratic Alliance candidate.

The Home Minister also asserted that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) “belongs to India and the country will take it back at any cost”.

“We, the BJP, don’t get scared of the vote bank. Prime Minister Modi has built the Ram temple in Ayodhya and now the work that is left is to build a great memorial at the birthplace of Maa Sita,” Mr. Shah said while addressing a public meeting in Sitamarhi. “Those who kept themselves away from Ram temple can’t do this, but if someone can build a temple as ideal as the life of mother Sita, he is Narendra Modi, the BJP,” he further said.

Sitamarhi’s Punaura Dham Mandir is considered as birthplace of Sita. According to Hindu scriptures, Sita, the wife of lord Ram, sprang out from an earthen pot, when king Janak was ploughing the field in Punaura Dham area of Sitamarhi.

Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s cabinet had approved ₹72.47 crore for the development of the temple. “It will be developed as an international pilgrimage site,” Mr. Shah had announced.

BJP ally Janata Dal (United) has fielded party leader and chairman of State legislative council Devesh Chandra Thakur as the NDA candidate against the mahagathbandhan nominee and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Arjun Ray. Mr. Thakur is considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the JD(U) leader Sunil Kumar Pintu had defeated RJD candidate Arjun Ray by over 2.5 lakh votes.

While addressing the public meeting, Mr. Shah slammed the Opposition for “raising fears about Pakistan’s atomic power”.

“I wish to declare from the birthplace of goddess Sita that Bharat and its 140 crore people fear no one. PoK is ours and it will remain so,” Mr. Shah asserted.

“When article 370 was revoked, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that it would lead to bloodshed. Five years have elapsed and not a pebble has been hurled yet but they scare people by saying that Pakistan has atom bombs,” Mr. Shah said.

Given that Sitamarhi shares its border with neighbouring Nepal, Mr. Shah added that Modi government “will ensure full security along the Indo-Nepal border in its third term”.

“Congress opposed Mandal Commission’s recommendations but PM Modi has given respect to lakhs of people from the backward classes. Congress ruled the country for over 60 years but did not think about welfare of 60 crore Other Backward Class (OBC) people,” he mocked at the Congress party while adding that “Congress and RJD never thought of conferring Bharat Ratna upon former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur. “It was done by the Modi government,” he added.

Launching an attack on the RJD and Lalu Prasad, Mr. Shah said, “The Lalu Prasad-led RJD has joined hands with the Congress only to make his son Tejashwi Yadav the Chief Minister of Bihar. What the State needs is Vikasraj (a progressive rule) and not Jungleraj (law of the jungle)”.  

“Today Lalu Prasad, for the sake of power politics, has gone into the lap of the Congress party. The Congress spent its entire existence in opposing the backwards and extremely backwards community,” Mr. Shah said.

Mr. Shah also addressed a public meeting in Madhubani from where party candidate Ashok Yadav is contesting against RJD candidate Mohammed Ali Ashraf Fatmi. Mr. Yadav is the son of former four-term MP and senior BJP leader Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, who had won the 1977 LS poll on a Lok Dal ticket but later joined the saffron party.

Sitamarhi will vote in the fifth phase on May 20.

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