People would look for Buddhist monasteries in temples if the BJP searches for temples in mosques, according to SP Maurya

Swami Prasad Maurya, a leader of the Samajwadi Party, allegedly alluding to conflicts in Varanasi and Mathura, claimed that if the BJP looked for a temple in every mosque, then people would start looking for a Buddhist monastery in every temple.

“The Buddhist monasteries included the Badrinath and Kedarnath temples in Uttarakhand, the Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Ayyappa Temple in Kerala, and the Vithoba temple in Pandharpur (Maharashtra). Hindu holy shrines were built there after these Buddhist monasteries were destroyed. Until the ninth century, these were Buddhist monasteries, he stated on Sunday.

All of these temples were formerly Buddhist monasteries, according to the SP national general secretary, who cited a wealth of historical evidence.

He said that his purpose is not to convert these temples into Buddhist monasteries, but rather to ask, “Why shouldn’t a Buddhist monastery be searched for in every temple if you search for a temple in every mosque?”

“BJP members are bringing up the mosque-temple controversy under false pretenses. In every mosque, they are searching for a temple. They will pay dearly for this. Because if they hunt for a temple in every mosque, people would begin looking for a Buddhist monastery in every temple, Maurya warned reporters in this city.

Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary, the head of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, responded to the comment by saying that the Samajwadi Party and its leaders had made “insulting the Sanatan Dharma again and again” a habit.

He said that in addition to being divisive, Maurya’s comments against “Baba Kedarnath, Baba Badrinath, and Shri Jagannath Puri, the main centres of faith of Hindus, show his trivial mindset and petty politics.”

He said that the speech had incited enmity in society and damaged the sensibilities of millions of Hindus throughout the nation and in Uttar Pradesh. He said Maurya had apologized for her remarks. Furthermore, Chaudhary tweeted, “The Samajwadi Party chief, Akhilesh Yadav, should express his viewpoint on this matter and make it clear if the Samajwadi Party agrees with it.”

Similar comments made by Maurya on Friday drew an angry response from BJP leader and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami, who called them “unfortunate” and said they showed the “anti-national and anti-religious” mindset of the Congress and its supporters.

On Sunday, Maurya reacted to the criticism.

He continued, “I had talked about Badrinath and Kedarnath Dhaam and had indicated that Badrinath had been a Buddhist monastery from the end of the seventh century to the beginning of the eighth century, after which Shankaracharya had transformed it and created it as a sacred site for Hindus.

“Everyone’s trust (aasthaa), which is significant, is something I would want to convey to the chief minister of Uttarakhand. You should be concerned about other people’s “aasthaa” if you are concerned about your own, he added.

Mayawati, the leader of the BSP, charged Maurya of attempting to divide communities in advance of the election.

“The latest statement of Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya that many temples including Badrinath were built by demolishing Buddhist monasteries and why a modern survey should be done not only of Gyanvapi Masjid but also of other major temples, is purely political statement giving rise to new controversies,” she claimed in a Hindi tweet.

Maurya was questioned by Mayawati on why he never made this demand while serving as a minister in the BJP government.

“Maurya served as a minister in the BJP administration for a significant amount of time. Why did he not apply this kind of pressure to his party and the government? And now, during election season, causing such a religious debate. They won’t mislead the Muslim and Buddhist populations, she said.

Courts are now hearing cases involving the Krishna Janmasthan Temple-Shahi Eidgah Masjid in Mathura and the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Varanasi.

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