In an apparent reference to disputes in Varanasi and Mathura, Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya said if the BJP looks for a temple in every mosque then people would start searching for a Buddhist monastery in every temple.
“The Badrinath and Kedarnath temples in Uttarakhand, the Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Ayyappa Temple in Kerala and the Vithoba temple in Pandharpur (Maharashtra) were Buddhist monasteries. These Buddhist monasteries were demolished and then Hindu religious shrines came up there. They were Buddhist monasteries till the eighth century,” he said on Sunday.
The SP national general secretary claimed there is ample historical evidence that all these temples were Buddhist monasteries.
He said his intention is not to turn these temples into Buddhist monasteries “but, if you search for a temple in every mosque, then why should a Buddhist monastery not be searched for in every temple?”
“BJP people under a conspiracy are raising the mosque-temple issue. They are looking for a temple in every mosque. This will cost them dearly. Because if they look for a temple in every mosque then people will start searching for a Buddhist monastery in every temple,” Maurya told reporters here.
Reacting to the statement, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary said “insulting the Sanatan Dharma again and again” has become the habit of the Samajwadi Party and its leaders.
He said Maurya’s remarks about “Baba Kedarnath, Baba Badrinath and Shri Jagannath Puri, the main centres of faith of Hindus, are not only controversial but also show his trivial mindset and petty politics”.
He said the statement has hurt the feelings of crores of Hindus of the country and Uttar Pradesh and created hatred in the society. He said Maurya apologise for the statement. “And, Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party chief, should give his opinion on this subject and clarify if the Samajwadi Party agrees with it,” Chaudhary tweeted.
With inputs from News18