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Gujarat Congress goes a step further in ‘soft-Hindutva’

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on January 10, 2018

Party MLA to renovate 100 Ram temples in State

The Congress is taking its ‘soft-Hindutva’ policy in Gujarat to the next level — it plans to renovate over 100 Ram temples in the State.

“Earlier, villagers used to help the authorities with donations and other resources for the temples’ upkeep. But during the BJP rule over the past 22 years, most temples in Gujarat have been neglected due to official apathy, and thefts and other crimes have further eroded their stature. Many old temples are in a very bad shape,” Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi told BusinessLine on Wednesday. It is this that the Congress hopes to correct.

To start with, Paresh Dhanani, the 41-year-old newly-elected Congress Legislative Party leader has launched a programme to renovate Ram temples in all the villages in his constituency Amreli in Saurashtra region.

Dhanani is launching the drive through his NGO, Parivartan. The aim, he said, is to revive the tradition of the village Ram temple being the hub of rural activities, and a meeting place for socio-cultural-religious bonding.

He said during the recent Assembly election campaign he found over 100 such temples in dilapidated conditions in his constituency. “Unlike the BJP, the Congress does not use the Ram temple issue as an election plank,” he said.

The Congress has also formed Shri Ram Committees in nearly 150 villages across Saurashtra to arrange daily prayers, reports said.

Reacting to this, Gujarat BJP spokesman Bharat Pandya said the Congress had earlier refused to accept the very existence of Lord Rama, and created obstacles in the construction of a temple in Ayodhya.

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Published on January 10, 2018
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