Jaipur: The authorities have demolished a 300-year-old temple in Rajgarh town of Alwar district of Rajasthan. This was done during an anti-encroachment drive in the town, as a part of which around 150 shops and buildings were also razed.
What is interesting is that even as the opposition BJP tried to rake up the matter, the Congress hit back and turned the spotlight on the fact that the Rajgarh municipality is controlled by the BJP and the decision had been taken by its board. The state government had nothing to do with the demolition drive, it was claimed.
As per reports the demolition drive was undertaken last week and it was covered in the local media but the issue erupted on Friday after a video went viral: It showed a JCB dismantling the structure. The administration claims that encroachment is rampant in the area and the action had been taken as per the master plan.
A notice that was served by the civic body to one of the trespassers says that the decision was taken in the board meeting of the municipality.
All this did not prevent the Rajasthan unit of the BJP from putting out a tweet stating that the demolition was the Gehlot government’s ‘revenge’ for the drive undertaken recently in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri.
BJP state president Satish Poonia also questioned how a 300-year-old temple can be deemed as an encroachment? ‘‘We are sending a 5-member fact-finding team to the spot which will give its report in three days,’’ he said.
BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya shared a video of the incident on Twitter and said "Shedding tears on Karauli and Jahangirpuri and hurting Hindus' faith -- this is what the secularism of Congress is all about."
The Congress state unit president, Govind Singh Dotasara, in turn, accused the BJP of politicizing the drive. ‘‘In 2018, the BJP mandal president had written a letter to the collector pressing for the removal of this encroachment. There is a BJP civic board in Rajgarh. It is headed by Satish Guharia. The resolution to remove the encroachment was passed in the board meeting,’’ pointed out Dotasara.
‘‘Temples are not tampered with in the Congress government, this has been the agenda of the BJP," he added. "Many temples were demolished during the BJP rule in Rajasthan during the tenure of former CM Vasundhara Raje. Also many temples were brought down in Gujarat. It's the BJP and RSS which are playing politics on these issues," he added.
‘‘We have asked the district administration to look into the matter and we’ll ensure that the idols are duly installed again,’’ added Dotasara.
The temple priest and the Brijbhoomi Vikas Parishad have lodged a complaint with the police against Rajgarh Congress MLA Jauhari Lal Meena, the SDM of Rajgarh and the EO of the municipality for the alleged demolition of the shrine.