A day before the Rajinder Nagar bypoll, the Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday alleged that the Centre has sent a letter to the Delhi government seeking permission from a religious committee, headed by the L-G, to demolish 53 temples in the city.
Addressing a press conference, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP is staging a “drama” in the name of religion and temples and the party is actually “anti-Hindu”.
“No God or Goddess has been spared and that’s why I am here to expose the Prime Minister [Narendra Modi], BJP Delhi State President Adesh Gupta and the entire party,” he said, adding that Mr. Modi and Mr. Gupta should come forward and apologise to the people of Delhi for this “gross crime”.
AAP shared a list of 53 “unauthorised” religious structures in seven areas and said the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has requested permission from the religious committee for their removal.
Referring to the list, the AAP national spokesperson said 19 of them are located in Kasturba Nagar, 10 in Netaji Nagar, eight in Sarojini Nagar, seven in Sriniwaspuri, five in Thyagraj Nagar, three in Nauroji Nagar and one in Mohammadpur area.
When contacted a BJP spokesperson did not offer a comment on Mr. Singh’s allegations. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs also did not respond to queries on the list of temples.
AAP had made similar allegations in April too. The party had claimed that the Centre has ordered the demolition of a temple in Sriniwaspuri and vowed to “not allow bulldozers to run over the temple”. Both AAP and BJP had accused each other of hurting the sentiments of Hindus. The BJP had said that AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal was doing “appeasement politics”.
In May, AAP claimed that the Central government wanted to demolish four temples in the Sarojini Nagar area. On Wednesday, Mr. Singh alleged that BJP was “spreading hate” in the name of religion and was using temples as a “means to incite violence”.
“One of the structures is an ancient temple of Lord Ram that they intend to demolish it. Temples of Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman and Sai Baba are also on the list. BJP leaders should smear black ink on their faces and walk with shame,” the AAP leader said.