Jaipur | Jagran News Desk: The BJP, which has of history of bulldozing houses and buildings in the states under its rule, has been crying foul over the demolition of two temples under an anti-encroachment drive in the Rajgarh area of Alwar district in Rajasthan.

Two temples including a 300-year-old Shiva temple and some shops were demolished on Sunday and Monday with officials describing the action as part of an anti-encroachment drive to widen a road in the town. The demolition created a massive controversy with a heavy exchange of barbs between the BJP and Congress.

According to the officials, as quoted by PTI, the demolition was approved by the Rajgarh Nagar Palika, which is ruled by the BJP. Alwar collector Nakate Shivprasad Madan said the proposal was passed by the Nagar Palika board and the action was taken in accordance with the decision of the local administration in the presence of police.

“In the meeting of the board headed by its chairman, a proposal to remove encroachments was passed. The executive officer accordingly issued notices and then the demolition was done,” the collector, as quoted by PTI, said.

Rajgarh SDM Keshav Meena said the Nagar Palika's executive officer had issued notices to 86 people on April 6 to remove encroachments from the road and they were given time. He further said one temple was completely demolished but the owners of the temples had removed the idols, while the second temple was partially demolished but its sanctum sanctorum is safe.

“The one-km stretch of the road is 50 to 54 feet wide in the master plan but it had been reduced to 25-28 feet at present due to encroachments. Encroachments from half of the road were removed earlier and the remaining encroachments were demolished on Sunday and Monday,” SDM Meena said.

Rajgarh Municipality Chairman denies allegations against him:

Rajgarh Municipality Chairman Satish Guria on Friday termed accusations against him over the demolition of a temple in Alwar as baseless. He said that Rajgarh Municipality has never been mentioned in its proposal to demolish temples.

"Accusations against me and the board are baseless. The board never mentioned in its proposal to demolish temples... Everything was done by the administration... Congress has never had a board in Rajgarh, it's their dream," Guria told ANI.

"The allegations being made are completely wrong, you have put in the inquiry committee, check if the truth comes out, then you can take action against me, this is the complicity of the administration, due to which this whole incident has happened," he added.

The war of words between BJP and Congress:

As the anti-encroachment drive triggered the row, Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia accused the Congress of being behind the demolition, while state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra asserted that it was the decision of the city's municipality headed by the saffron party.

BJP's Rajya Sabha member Kirodi Mal Meena reached Rajgarh on Friday and sat on a dharna before a police station there. The BJP has formed a "fact-finding committee" headed by Sikar MP Swami Sumedhanand. Another senior BJP leader Rajendra Rathore accused Rajgarh's Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena of being involved in the matter.

Claiming that the idols were damaged, Alwar MP Balaknath accused Rajasthan's Congress government of hurting people's sentiment and working to appease a particular community.

However, Rajasthan Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal denied the allegations by the BJP and said that no opposed the demolition at that time but suddenly communal atmosphere is being created by the safforn party. He further said the government is examining the matter and has sought a report.

“The proposal to remove the encroachment was passed in the meeting of the BJP board in Rajgarh Nagar Palika. They demolished it and are now blaming the Congress,” Dhariwal, as quoted by PTI, said.

Meanwhile, rejecting state BJP chief Satish Poonia's allegations, PCC chief Dotasra accused the BJP of misleading people and playing politics over religion. “It is the habit of the BJP and RSS to commit wrongs and spread communal frenzy. One temple was private but its idols were removed. The second temple was partially demolished but its sanctum sanctorum is safe,” Dotasara said.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan