Free Press Journal

Congress slams Gujarat CM Anandiben for Somnath temple row


Anandiben Patel

Ahmedabad: Congress today criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel for the restrictions imposed on non-Hindus entering the Somnath temple, alleging that such a decision is an attempt to divert people’s attention from real issues.

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Bharatsinh Solanki said that Patel had failed to deliver during the one-year tenure. “On the issue of the Somnath temple, I want to say that Anandiben Patel, who took over as Gujarat chief minister an year ago, has completely failed to deliver. So, she is trying to divert people’s attention from real issues,” Solanki said at a press conference here today.

A few days ago, the Somnath temple trust restricted entry of non-Hindus inside the temple and announced that people of other faiths would have to take prior permission from the it to enter.

Solanki alleged that the trust’s directive is based on orders by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before Gujarat’s local body elections.

“Hindu religion respects and welcomes all religions and treats the entire world as one family. Thus, I believe that the trust might have taken such a decision after being ordered by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, since Gujarat’s local body elections are approaching,” he said.

He also listed names of many prominent non-Hindus who could be stopped from entering the Somnath temple. “Does this order mean that the temple would have stopped Babasaheb Ambedkar, if he was alive, from entering? Similarly, will you stop former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, or BJP leaders like Siddhu or Smriti Irani or buisnessmen like Ratan Tata or Gautam Adani,” Solanki asked.

“What if our former President APJ Abdul Kalam wants to visit the temple? Are you going to stop him now? I am still wondering what is the need to impose such a restriction after 60 years,” Solanki said.