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No power in the world can stop worship of Shivalinga: BJP minder

P. Muralidhar Rao says Muslim community should accept the 'truth'
P. Muralidhar Rao.
P. Muralidhar Rao.
File photo

J.P. Yadav   |   New Delhi   |   Published 18.05.22, 02:29 AM

A prominent BJP leader has said that “no power in the world” can stop (Hindus) from worshipping the “Shivalinga” found on the premises of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, adding that continuation of the 1991 Places of Worship Act had become “impossible” now.

The 1991 Act prohibits “conversion of any place of worship” and provides for the “maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15 th day of August, 1947”. The Ayodhya issue was kept out of the Act, passed by the then Narasimha Rao government.

P. Muralidhar Rao, now the BJP minder for Madhya Pradesh and a former party general secretary, posted a series of tweets on the claims on the “Shivalinga”, declaring that they were his “personal opinion”.

Muralidhar, who has roots in the RSS, said the Muslim community should accept the “truth”, sooner the better.

His “personal opinion” came in the middle of an unprecedented propaganda blitz being whipped up by the saffron ecosystem, marked by customary silence of the ruling party’s leadership.

“No power in the world can stop worship of the Shivalinga found on the Gyanvapi premises. With the discovery of this Shivalinga, continuation of the 1991 Places of Worship Act becomes impossible, in my opinion. And along with the people of this country, the sooner Muslims too accept this truth, it would protect everyone’s dignity,” Muralidhar tweeted.

Muralidhar, who had been the convener of the RSS’s economic wing, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, posted an English version, too.

“Shivalinga found on the Gyanvapi premises is like a scorching midday Sun in a peak summer. Now, in my opinion, continuation of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, is highly difficult.… It will have to be repealed in near future,” his English tweet said, adding that “stopping this from happening was highly impossible”.

With inflation hitting a new high amid widespread joblessness, the BJP leadership fears electoral damage, and polarising issues serve the purpose of deflecting attention from bread-and-butter issues, party insiders readily conceded but in private.

While the Ayodhya issue has been settled by the Supreme Court, the 1991 Places of Worship Act prohibited the BJP from officially raising the Kashi and Mathura issues.

Muralidhar, by using the Gyanvapi controversy, brought the Act into focus, stressing that it has to be repealed now, an issue the BJP has been keeping an eye on.

On Tuesday, Muralidhar sought to explain why he felt that the continuation of the Act was impossible.

“If a Shivalinga has been found, then it has to be worshipped. No one can stop the worship. And if it’s worshipped, then the 1991 Act loses meaning,” Muralidhar told The Telegraph, underscoring that it was his “personal opinion” and not a “policy” decision of the BJP.

Elaborating on his tweet that Muslims should accept the “truth”, he said the community should not make places like Gyanvapi a “prestige issue”.

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