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Past Cong. govts. could not protect rath yatra in Ahmedabad: Amit Shah

Temple servitors help Lord Jagannath as he is coming out from the Shree Jagannath temple to ride his chariot Nandighosha to participate the annual Rathyatra festival at Puri.

Temple servitors help Lord Jagannath as he is coming out from the Shree Jagannath temple to ride his chariot Nandighosha to participate the annual Rathyatra festival at Puri. | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in Gujarat to launch development works in his parliamentary constituency Gandhinagar on Friday, used the occasion of Lord Jagannath annual rath yatra to hit out at the Congress, accusing its past governments of failing to protect the yatra when they were in power in the State. 

Early on Friday, Mr. Shah participated in the prayers at Lord Jagannath temple in the city before the rath yatra started. 

In Ahmedabad, the yatra procession is a tradition dating back to 145 years. The procession is taken out in walled city areas which are communally sensitive, given the mixed population residing there. 

Mr. Shah on Friday slammed the Congress, saying that the governments led by it in Gujarat had put a ban on taking out the annual Lord Jagannath rath yatra procession thrice in the past, which proved that they were not capable of protecting the participants. 

He added that curfews during the rath yatra were normal during the Congress regime. But they were a thing of the past now, as no one had dared to play mischief during the yatra after the BJP came to power nearly 27 years ago.

“Today, we are witnessing the 145th edition of the annual rath yatra in Ahmedabad. During the Congress rule, prior to 1995, people used to live under the fear that something untoward would happen during the yatra. And their fear was legitimate, because riots had happened during the yatra with miscreants even trying to snatch away the chariots on two occasions,” he said.

After participating in the prayers at the temple, Mr. Shah attended a series of programmes in Gandhinagar to launch new development works. 

He addressed a gathering at Rupal village in Gandhinagar district after launching a host of projects, including beautification of lakes in Rupal and Vasan villages.

In Kalol town, near Gandhinagar, he performed the ground-breaking ceremony of a multispeciality hospital and inaugurated the office block of Swaminarayan University. He lauded the Swaminarayan sect for its contribution in education, deaddiction and furthering cultural heritage. 


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 9:41:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/past-cong-govts-could-not-protect-rath-yatra-in-ahmedabad-amit-shah/article65590303.ece