A temple dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the outskirts of Rajkot is all set to be “inaugurated” on Sunday. The temple with an idol of Modi in the sanctum has been built by a group of BJP supporters.
“We have been worshiping Narendra Modi by placing his photograph at this place for the last 11 years. Now, we have an idol of Modi sculpted. The idol will be installed in the temple on February 15. We have planned a mass-marriage ceremony on the same day. We have invited Union Minister of State for Agriculture Mohan Kundariya and Water Supply Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani to the event,” said Shankar Patel, president of Oum Yuva Group, an informal organisation of BJP workers and youths, which has built the temple.
“I know the BJP worker who has built this temple. But I don’t know exactly what the temple is all about so I would not like to comment. On Sunday, I have other engagements, so I would not be able to attend its inauguratuon,” Rupani told The Indian Express.
The Indian Express was the first to report about the temple a year ago on February 13, 2014. The temple, which looks more like a hut with wicket-walls, is located on Kotharia road. “The marble idol has been sculpted by a sculptor from Orissa. We have spent Rs 1.7 lakh on the project. We are also planning to place idols of Bharat Mata and Swami Vivekananda in the temple. But that will take another eight months,” said Patel, who runs a paan-cum-tea stall near the temple. The temple is built on government land and therefore, technically, it is an encroachment, Patel admitted. The BJP worker’s tea stall, Oum Paan Centre, was one of the venues for Modi’s chai pe charcha (discussion over a cup of tea) on February 12, 2014.
Local BJP leaders, however, said that the ministers were likely to attend the event. “The temple is built by Oum Yuva Group, but the BJP is supporting the project. Kundariya, Rupani and chiefs of Rajkot city and district units of the BJP are likely to attend the ceremony on Sunday,” said Hiren Joshi, president of Rajkot District Youth BJP.