I was there to bring down Babri Masjid, not Shiv Sena: BJP Minister

A file photo of Hindu men as they demolish Babri Masjid in the city of Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP member Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that Shiv Sena members are scared to even remove loudspeakers from the mosques but claimed that they brought down the Babri Masjid.

Addressing a BJP rally here, Fadnavis said he could vouch that no Shiv Sena person was present at the time of the demolition of Babri Masjid.

“I proudly claim I was amongst the active kar sevaks who were present at Ayodhya the day the Babri structure was demolished. I participated in kar seva for the construction of the magnificent Ram temple. I was lodged in prison, I was lathicharged,” The Indian Express quoted Fadnavis as saying.

The BJP member’s statement followed the Shiv Sena asking where the BJP leaders were when parts of the mosque were razed in the early 1990s.

“They asked where we were hiding… They got scared like hell when they were asked to remove loudspeakers from mosques and are now claiming that they brought down the Babri mosque,” Fadnavis said, asking in turn where the Sena members were that day. “I am saying with pride that, yes, I was there to bring the structure down. This Devendra Fadnavis was there to bring the structure down. Not only this, this Devendra Fadnavis spent 18 days in the Badaun jail before that for doing kar seva for the Ram temple,” the report quoted him further saying.

“Tell me, which politician from Maharashtra had gone to Ayodhya when the mosque was brought down? Had anyone gone? No Shiv Sena member was present there.”

Fadnavis added that veteran BJP members like L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambara, Kalyan Singh had participated in the Ram temple movement, and fought a legal battle for the same.

The BJP member said it was high time to unmask it over its claims regarding Marathi, Maharashtra and Hindutva.

“Some people (in a hint at Uddhav Thackeray) believe they are Maharashtra. If anybody humiliates them, they perceive it as an insult to Maharashtra. If anybody honours them, they equate it to Maharashtra… Time has come to shake them and their mistaken identity. They should be told that you are not Maharashtra, you are not even Hindutva,” the report quoted Fadnavis as saying.


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