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Former Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki was on the receiving end Tuesday for his controversial statement about the under-construction Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He also accused the BJP of duping the people of India by siphoning off funds meant for the construction of the temple.
“…dogs have been urinating on Ram shilas (bricks) sent to Ayodhya by the devotees,” Solanki said as he attacked the BJP for allegedly committing fraud by collecting donations for the bricks for the temple construction.
Solanki was speaking at the Other Backward Caste (OBC) Sammelan of the Congress at Dholka of Ahmedabad Tuesday. Senior party leaders, including Gujarat unit president Jagdish Thakor, Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathva and AICC state incharge Raghu Sharma were also present at the event.
“So many people, especially women, offered prayers to the bricks and sent small donation amounts from across the country. However, we see today that the BJP has not given any tally of the money it received in the name of the temple donation. When the government has already announced a portion of the (Union) budget for the construction of the temple, what was the need for collecting donations,” he told reporters later, clarifying his statement.
He added that the BJP has been “duping people in the name of religion” for mere political gains. “Today, we see in Ayodhya the condition of those shilas (bricks) where dogs urinate on them. I am not anti-Ram as my name itself is Bharat but I will keep exposing those people who have been using the name of Ram for their business of politics,” he further said.
However, Solanki’s statements drew sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Congress leader Hardik
Patel, calling it “an insult to the Hindus”.
Accusing the Congress of repeatedly hurting “the sentiments of people through their acts” and offending the Hindu faith, Patidar leader Hardik Patel said: “Today, a former union minister-cum-Gujarat Congress leader has said that dogs urinate on the Ram shilas. I want to ask the Congress and its leaders, what enmity do they have with Lord Ram?
A temple of Lord Ram is being constructed at Ayodhya; even then, the Congress leaders have been giving nonsensical statements against Ram (sic).”
Echoing similar views, Gujarat BJP media convenor Dr Yagnesh Dave took to Twitter saying, “By saying that dogs urinate on Ram shilas, Solanki has shown his weak mindset against the Indian culture. Bharatji, since when have you cared about Ram? May Lord Ram bless us all (sic).”
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