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Now Nitish invokes Ram,unveils ‘biggest temple’

Modi's statue and Nitish's temple projects are likely to gain significance in the days ahead.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar,who had said after Narendra Modi’s rally in Bihar that the BJP makes lord Ram and lord Krishna “active members of the party as per its convenience”,has now “invoked” lord Ram himself.

Days after the BJP’s PM candidate embarked on an ambitious project to construct the tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel,Nitish on Wednesday unveiled the design of the Viraat Ramayan Mandir,to be built on 190 acres of land in Kesaria in East Champaran. The temple is pegged to be almost twice as big as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat,currently the largest religious monument in the world.

The comparison between Modi’s statue and Nitish’s temple projects is likely to gain significance in the days ahead. Nitish,who raised the secularism pitch soon after Modi’s Patna rally,has already announced a Sankalp rally in 12 places between December 7 and February 16. The BJP has tried to counter this by fixing up public meetings for Modi in Gaya,Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur around the same time.

While unveiling the design of the temple,Nitish promised to extend all help to construct the temple,which would be 405 feet high and accommodate over 20,000 people. “When trust chairman Kishore Kunal discussed the temple project and said he wanted the same name for it as the temple of Angkor Wat,we found there could be some legal hassles. Kunalji later came up with name Viraat Ramayan Mandir,which sounded beautiful,” he said.

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Though the CM refrained from making any political statement,the timing of the unveiling would keep the poll pot boiling. A senior JD(U) leader said: “A Ram versus Sardar battle may not have been planned,but the two projects have great statistical value to engage the public.”

First published on: 14-11-2013 at 12:14:55 am
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