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Gujarat Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki’s remark on Ram temple creates stir

Proposed model of  Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya. File

Proposed model of Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Gujarat Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki’s remark about Ram temple funds allegedly siphoned off by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) triggered a slugfest as leaders of both parties attacked each other. 

In his remark while addressing the party workers, Mr. Solanki said that the ruling BJP leaders had “deceived” Lord Ram by siphoning off funds meant for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. 

The former Gujarat Congress president, while addressing a gathering of OBCs in Dholka town in Ahmedabad district, claimed ‘Ram Shilas’ (bricks with Shri Ram inscribed on them), were lying uncared for on the outskirts of villages as funds meant to build the temple were siphoned off. “They [BJP] have not spared even Lord Rama,” Mr. Solanki said.

“In the past when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was launched, I saw women applying vermilion on ‘Ram Shilas’ and putting them on the outskirts of their village after taking out processions hoping that a Ram temple will be built one day. Now, these shilas lie in utter neglect. If these people [BJP]) can deceive Lord Ram, will they spare the common man?” Mr. Solanki stated. Funds were collected from villages during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement but nobody knew what happened to the funds collected in the name of Lord Rama, Mr. Solanki added. 

After Mr. Solanki’s remarks, BJP leaders hit out at him. “This shows the hatred the Congress leaders have for Ram temple,” Gujarat BJP spokesman Yagnesh Dave said. 

Solanki’s ‘clarification’

Mr. Solanki, however, subsequently explained that he did not target the temple but was only targeting the BJP leaders for the ‘‘misuse’‘ of funds collected from people. “I was only highlighting that Ram Shilas were sent with so much faith by the people but the BJP did not take care of them,” Mr. Solanki told media persons. 

Former Congress leader Hardik Patel took the opportunity to hit out at Mr. Solanki. Mr. Solanki said Congress leaders always mocked the faith of Hindus. 

“I want to ask the Congress and its leaders what enmity they have with Lord Shri Ram. Why hate the Hindus so much? After centuries, a temple for Lord Shri Ram is being built in Ayodhya. Yet the leaders of Congress keep making statements against Lord Shri Ram,” Mr. Patel tweeted.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 8:58:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-congress-leader-bharatsinh-solankis-remark-on-ram-temple-creates-stir/article65457563.ece