“Decked in gold, the Somnath temple in Gujarat is giving a message to the world that if you have the courage, then come and try to loot again,” said Union Home Minister Amit Shah while addressing an election rally in north Gujarat Monday.
“Terrorists were playing Holi with blood across the country. Narendrabhai… passed strict rules, and rooted out terrorism,” Shah said at Kheralu in Mehsana district, where the BJP has not given the ticket to its sitting MLA Ajmalji Thakor.
Speaking about the work done by Prime Minister Modi with regard to the restoration of historic temples, Shah referred to Somnath temple in Gujarat and said: “Our Somnath dada (Lord Shiva) is sitting proudly and comfortably inside a golden sanctum sanatorium and giving a message across the world that if you have the courage then come and loot again. Somnath is once again being built in gold.”
Notably, the temple at Somnath is one of the many temples raided and destroyed by invaders including Mahmud Ghazni. Somnath was raided six times between the 11th and the 18th century and it was rebuilt every time.
“…he (Narendra Modi) has filled our places of worship with energy and respected it. The Congress, on the other hand, were fearful of losing their vote bank and never restored our cultural or religious places,” he added.
Shah said nobody had the guts to engage in communal riots in Gujarat after 2002. He said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi added salt to Gujarat’s wounds when he took along Medha Patkar for his Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Union minister alleged that Patkar stalled the Narmada dam project for 20 years.
Gujarat is going to the polls in two phases next month – December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be held on December 8.