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BJP against rebuilding Ravidas temple, says AAP

Tuesday - September 17, 2019 10:10 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Terming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) anti-Dalit, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), here on Tuesday, threatened a nationwide agitation if the land was not provided for rebuilding the Sant Ravidas temple.
The AAP urged the Union Urban Development Ministry and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Vice-President to provide the land earliest for the temple.
Speaking to the media, AAP's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said the DDA demolished the temple and "hurt the sentiments of crores of people".
He said, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam had written to the Prime Minister requesting that the DDA be asked to allot land for the temple.
The Chief Minister also wrote a letter to Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri on September 11, but he had not replied till now, he said. "I am writing a letter to him on behalf of the three Rajya Sabha members, seeking an appointment. The issue has reached the Supreme Court and the central government is complicating the matter there," Singh said.
The BJP was instrumental in demolishing the Sant Ravidas temple, the MP alleged.
"The AAP is committed to build the temple. The BJP raises slogans for building the Ram temple, but makes excuses when it comes to Sant Ravidas temple. In the Supreme Court on Monday, the Centre didn't clarify its stand," Singh said.
Gautam said when the DDA tried to demolish the temple, the Sant Ravidas Temple Committee had to move the High Court. "The local commissioner admitted in his report that the committee was registered in 1948. Before that, there was a temple there. If the BJP wanted, the temple could have been saved," he said.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on August 11 on the demolition of the temple, Gautam said, "I had stated that the temple was a symbol of faith for crores of people from the Dalit community and urged him to give the land to rebuild the temple."
Stating that there should be no politics on this, he said, 96 people who protested against the demolition were still in jail.
AAP legislator Ajay Dutt said the DDA presented wrong facts in the court. "The court was told there was no temple," he said.
"Kejriwal has said a grand temple will be constructed as soon as the Delhi government gets the land. If the land is not given, there will be protests across the country," Dutt said.
AAP legislator Visesh Ravi demanded a probe into demolition of the temple and action against the accused.
The Saint Ravidas Temple in a forest area in south Delhi's Tughlakabad was demolished on August 10 after a Supreme Court order. While the Delhi government reserved the land for forest in 1980, the community argued that the temple was 600 years.

--IANS nks/skp/pcj