BJP Sets eyes on Kali Mandir in Bihar’s Muslim Hub

Eager to widen its foothold in Bihar’s north-eastern districts with sizeable Muslim population, BJP organised its state executive meeting in Muslim-majority Kishanganj.

Published: 13th May 2017 10:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2017 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

PATNA: Eager to widen its foothold in Bihar’s north-eastern districts with sizeable Muslim population, BJP organised its state executive meeting in Muslim-majority Kishanganj. Amid the three-day brainstorming, some leaders raised an emotive issue that the saffron party may keep raising in the coming months.

The temple in Kishanganj

Three top BJP leaders—Union ministers Giriraj Singh and Ram Kripal Yadav and leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Prem Kumar—gathered at a half-constructed Kali temple on government land in Kishanganj town.

They prayed there and lambasted the district administration and Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance government for preventing the temple’s construction.

Muslims comprise about 78 per cent of the population in Kishanganj, making it Bihar’s only district and Lok Sabha constituency where they outnumber Hindus. Located close to the Bangladesh border, Kishanganj is also India’s largest Muslim-populated area after the Kashmir Valley and Lakshadweep.

“If the state government does not allow resumption of this temple of Kali Mata, we will not wait for permission. The people will begin a kar seva and resume construction of this 40-year-old temple,” said Singh, MoS for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.

Construction of the temple on government land near the circuit house was stopped by the administration in October 2016. While encroachment was the reason, the Union minister accused sub-divisional officer Mohammad Shafiq of trying to demolish the temple.

Singh’s talk of beginning a kar seva at the Kali temple site prompted many to have visions of the type of mob action at Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid. Near the Kali temple at Kishanganj stands a mosque. The uproar caused by Singh’s statements reportedly led to BJP leaders decide against including the Kali temple issue in the party’s state resolutions. The ruling JD(U), RJD and Congress attacked the BJP leaders’ visit to the temple site and talking of beginning a kar seva.

“BJP leaders are trying to create communal discord in Bihar in the name of their state executive meeting in Kishanganj. We will not allow it to happen,” said Minority Affairs Minister Abdul Gafoor. Similar criticism also came from RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav and leaders of JD(U) and Congress.

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL2018