After three temples, one claimed to be three centuries old, were razed in an anti-encroachment drive in Rajgarh town of Rajasthan’s Alwar district, the state’s Congress government has blamed the local civic body ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party for the act.
State BJP chief Satish Poonia, however, rejected the charge.
Alwar Temple Demolition Row | How much of substance does Congress’s allegation of the board that handles the temple being under BJP have?@DrSatishPoonia Rajasthan BJP Chief shares views.
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Speaking to CNN-News18, he said, “The Congress is trying to whitewash its sin. Local bodies can’t do demolitions like this. It is always done with various arms of the government and administration, like the collector and SDM (sub-divisional magistrate), being involved. The Congress is guilty. This is a centuries-old temple. It doesn’t even fall under any encroachment law. The board under BJP discussed encroachment but never discussed removing temples.”
But he didn’t stop there. The BJP state chief also leveled serious against local Congress MLA Johri Lal Meena.
“The MLA’s son is implicated in a gang-rape case. Locals have been protesting. This temple demolition has been done to teach locals a lesson,” he claimed.
In March 2022, a case of gang rape was filed against Meena’s son and two others.
“They have done this in Karauli also. CM Ashok Gehlot showed that he loves the PFI (Popular Front of India). This is done to put the Hindu community down and protect their minority vote bank,” said Poonia.
The Rajasthan government says it has sent a notice to the Rajgarh municipal council for the anti-encroachment drive, accusing the BJP of trying to stir up trouble.
Allegations are also being made, by Poonia and even some residents speaking to CNN-News18, that locals have been threatened in the past by the Congress that if they don’t vote for the party in the local body elections against the BJP, they will be taught a lesson.