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Ayodhya land deal: Oppn targets BJP, alleges corruption; UP Dy CM hits back

AICC general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “Crores of people made their offerings at the feet of God out of their faith and devotion. Misuse of those donations is unrighteous, a sin and an insult to their faith.” Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi too tweeted on similar lines.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow, New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2021 7:11:37 am
Priyanka Gandhi

A DAY after the AAP and SP alleged corruption in the purchase of a piece of land in Ayodhya by the Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust in March, Opposition parties on Monday targeted the ruling BJP, accusing one of its local leaders of involvement, and alleged donations made by devotees for construction of the Ram temple were misused.

While the AAP targeted Ayodhya Mayor and BJP leader Rishikesh Upadhyay — one of the two witnesses in the deal in which the land was bought by the trust allegedly at an inflated rate — the Congress demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations.

Hitting back at the Opposition, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, said, “The official answer will be given by the Trust. I would say in one line that there are some people in the Opposition who do not like anything positive in context to the Ram Janmabhoomi. Sometimes they say Lord Ram was fictional, and that the Ram Setu did not exist …They do not hesitate in leaving any opportunity to defame the Ram Janmabhoomi.”

At a press conference, senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “Many people donated money towards the construction of the Ram Mandir… More land being bought for the construction of the temple was a matter of pride for most people but this pride has now turned into disappointment and shame, considering that BJP leaders have used money allocated for Ram Temple for their own means…

“They [the people] never thought that Rs 2 crore worth land would be bought for Rs 18.5 crore,” Sisodia said, a day after his party MP Sanjay Singh made the allegations in Lucknow.

Singh, who was also present at the press meet, said: “The BJP came to the defence of all those who carried out this scam in the name of Shri Ram…. It is crystal clear that BJP leader and Mayor of Ayodhya has a big role to play.”

Alleging that it was a “big scam” committed using funds collected from devotees of Lord Ram, Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court must take cognizance of the matter and order a court-monitored probe. The Supreme Court, he said, should also get an audit conducted for all the donations and funds received and spent by the trust for the construction of the Ram temple.

AICC general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “Crores of people made their offerings at the feet of God out of their faith and devotion. Misuse of those donations is unrighteous, a sin and an insult to their faith.” Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi too tweeted on similar lines.

The Shiv Sena demanded a “clarification” from the Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “The evidence put forth by him [AAP’s Singh] is shocking. The temple’s bhoomipujan ceremony was also attended by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. They should clarify and tell whether the allegations are true or false.”

— With ENS, Mumbai

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