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Friday, Dec 02, 2022

BJP welcomes Gyanvapi order, UP Deputy CM says Mathura, Kashi churning

Incidentally, in his first remarks on the row over Gyanvapi mosque, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had on June 2 questioned the need to “look for a Shivling” in every mosque, and said that RSS was not in favour of launching any other movement on these issues.

Soon after the verdict, Maurya tweeted what was being seen as a larger message: “Karvat leti Mathura, Kashi! (Varanasi and Mathura are stirring).” (PTI File)

As BJP on Monday welcomed the Varanasi district court’s order allowing the hearing of petitions seeking the right to worship inside the Gyanvapi mosque, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya hinted that next on the list could be Mathura even as party leaders in Delhi maintained a studied silence. They appeared to have decided to lie low while letting the VHP, considered the radical and hardliner wing of the Sangh, do most of the talking.

Soon after the verdict, Maurya tweeted what was being seen as a larger message: “Karvat leti Mathura, Kashi! (Varanasi and Mathura are stirring).”

This came minutes after Maurya, a former BJP state president, welcomed the court verdict. He tweeted (translated from Hindi), “Satyam Shivam Sundaram…. I welcome the order of the honourable court in the matter of Baba Vishwanath ji Maa Shringaar Gauri Mandir, everyone should respect the decision.”

Incidentally, in his first remarks on the row over Gyanvapi mosque, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had on June 2 questioned the need to “look for a Shivling” in every mosque, and said that RSS was not in favour of launching any other movement on these issues.

Bhagwat had then said: “Roz ek maamla nikalne naya, ye bhi nahi karna chahiye… Hum ko jhagda kyun badana? Gyanvapi ke baare main hamari shraddha parampara se chalti aayee hai. Hum karte aa rahe hai woh theek hai. Par har masjid main Shivling kyu dekhna? Woh bhi ek puja hai. Theek hai bahar se aayi hai. Lekin jinhone apnaya hai woh Musalman woh bahar se sambandh nahi rakhte, ye unko bhi samajhna chahiye. Yadyapi puja unki udhar ki hai usme woh rahna chahte hai toh achhi baat hai. Hamare yahan kisi puja ka virodh nahi (One should not raise a new issue every day. Why escalate fights? On Gyanvapi, our faith has been there for generations. What we are doing is fine. But why look for a Shivling in every mosque? What happens in mosques is also a form of prayer. Okay, it has come from outside. But Muslims who have accepted it are not outsiders, they need to understand this. Even if their prayer is from outside (this country), and they wish to continue with it, we are fine with it. We are not opposed to any form of worship),” he said.

After the Varanasi court’s verdict, another UP Deputy CM, Brajesh Pathak, told The Indian Express, “The UP government welcomes and respects the court order. We are alert. We will maintain the rule of law in UP; no one will be allowed to break the law.”

Calling for patience on all sides, party’s UP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “The question related to maintainability of the (law) suit has been disposed of and now hearing will be possible on the application seeking permission for worship at Shringar Gauri temple. Both sides need to maintain patience. They should present all their facts, arguments and evidence before the court.”

With BJP showcasing itself as the “party that stands to restore rights and prestige of Hindus”, the verdict could also strengthen the demand for a re-look at the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 sources said.

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A BJP leader said, “While it is true that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s image as a decisive leader, who is focused on development, has pushed BJP to its current stature, like (L K ) Advani-ji used to say, economics will never be a (long-term) winning formula. Polarisation has always helped BJP — without it, BJP will not be able to retain its dominance.”

However, this leader said, “Being a party that is under constant observation at the global level, BJP cannot afford to be seen as backing any group in such disputes. Besides, this government swears by the mantra ‘sabka saath, sabka vishwas’, so it has to leave the issue to the legal process.”

Asked why BJP was enthused with the verdict, a senior BJP leader in UP said, “Hearing in the matter is expected to continue for a few years — from district court to High Court, and then the Supreme Court. Several elections will be contested in that period. When facts and evidence and reports of the court order on Gyanvapi are discussed, it will create a momentum.”

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The party’s central leaders maintained that both BJP and the government should focus on the “ideology of development followed by Prime Minister Modi” and leave issues such as temple disputes to outfits such as VHP.

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The VHP, which had successfully spearheaded the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, welcomed the court’s order. Alok Kumar, international working president of VHP, said: “This decision is significant as the first barrier in the way of the Varanasi temple has been crossed. We knew earlier that the Places of Worship Act won’t be applied in this case, and this was done only to prolong the case. But the court put it aside. The case will be heard based on facts, and we are sure we will win.”

First published on: 13-09-2022 at 04:30:27 am
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