Congress to Offer Puja Kits to Revive Local Temples in Saurashtra

Congress has alleged that the RSS has not done enough to “preserve and promote” Hindu traditions in the region.

2 min read
A supporter waves a Congress flag at an election rally in Gujarat.

The Gujarat Congress is planning to distribute puja items to volunteers who agree to perform aartis 14 times a week in 148 villages across Saurashtra, a region where it made impressive inroads in the 2017 Assembly polls.

The Economic Times, on Tuesday, 9 January, quoted leader of opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, as saying that the kits will consist of shankh, jhalar and nagadas (conch shells, decorations, and drums). Dhanani, however, told The Quint that as of now he has not decided when and where to distribute these puja kits.

Dhanani also told ET that the party will form “Sriram Suryodhay-Sandhye Aarti Committees” to revive local Ram temples in the region.

“Ayodhya is far away. We want to start with neighborhood temples,” Dhanani was quoted as saying.

While talking to the newspaper, Dhanani alleged that the RSS has not done enough to “preserve and promote” Hindu traditions in Saurashtra.

During the campaign for the Gujarat elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi visited as many as 20 temples in the region, where the party doubled its tally and won 30 seats.

The English daily further quoted party sources as saying that the move is aimed at countering the BJP’s projection of the Congress as an anti-Hindu party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress party sources told ET that they are banking on its 77 MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly and also Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani to create pressure on the ruling BJP government, while PAAS leader Hardik Patel is likely to mobilise people outside the House.

The report added that Hardik Patel will start a two-year long padhyatra at the end of 2018 and will visit different villages, picking up various issues from farmer distress to problems faced by students.

The Gujarat polls in December 2017 saw the BJP emerge victorious for the fifth straight time in the state. Its final seat tally of 99 seats was its lowest in nearly two decades.

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