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February 16, 2020
New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) The Delhi Assembly on Thursday tabled a resolution demanding that the Centre must bring an ordinance to allot land for the rebuilding of the demolished Saint Ravidas temple in the national capital.
During the discussion on the resolution, while the AAP legislators blamed the BJP and Centre for the demolition, the BJP MLAs supported the resolution.
The AAP MLAs tabled the resolution saying the House shares the sentiment of millions of Indians who were “deeply hurt because of the demolition of Saint Ravldas temple in Delhi”.
Calling the temple ‘historically significant’, as Saint Ravidas had visited the site and lived for some time, the resolution said demolishing this temple “not only crushes religious sentiments but also the history of Dalit struggle”.
“This House resolves that the Central Government has badly mishandled this issue by not supporting their cause in the Court of law which finally led to its unjustified and unfortunate demolition,” the resolution said.
It further resolves to convey the sentiments of millions of people to the Central government and “demands that the Centre must immediately bring an ordinance to allot the said land for Ravidas temple”.
The Assembly also resolved that the Delhi government should construct a magnificent Ravidas temple at the same site after the Centre allots the land.
A temple of Saint Ravidas was demolished in forest area in south Delhi’s Tughlakabad on August 10, after a Supreme Court order.
During the discussion, AAP Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said the BJP has double standards for temple.
Accusing the BJP of demolition of the temple, the Social Welfare Minister said while on one hand, “the BJP is fighting to build a temple on the basis of faith, on the other, it has demolished a temple which has all the documented proof for its existence.”
Gautam also shared the documents related to the temple’s existence in the House.
“Your faith is a proof for a (Ram) temple, but even after having documents, our existing temple was demolished,” Gautam said in the Assembly.
He also said that it is incorrect to say that the temple was built after cutting down tress as it was centuries old.
“The demolition is to crush our faith. The cruelty on the people of our community has increased since the BJP came to power (at Center),” Gautam said listing some incidents, including that of Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadvi.
Gautam said if Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri wanted, “the temple could have been saved”.
The BJP MLAs supported the cause saying Saints are not from one community but belong to everyone.
BJP MLA O.P. Sharma said such a great saint doesn’t belong to any particular community.
“BJP supports the resolution. There should be a temple built at that spot. We should not do petty politics over the issue. I, as a BJP worker, ensure that we will do whatever we can in out capacity,” Sharma said in the House.
Earlier, Delhi Assembly on Thursday witnessed a ruckus after AAP MLAs went near the Speaker’s podium shouting slogans against the BJP for demolition of Saint Ravidas temple forcing to chair to adjourn the house twice.
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