Solution For Ravidas Temple Demolition Only With Centre: Arvind Kejriwal


Arvind Kejriwal said the Centre holds the key to resolving the matter (File Photo)

New Delhi:

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday offered to swap 100 acres of land for the plot in Tughalakbad where a Ravidas temple was demolished, while the Delhi Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the Centre issue an ordinance in this regard.

The Ravidas temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which comes under the Centre, on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Participating in a discussion over the issue in the House, Mr Kejriwal said the Centre holds the key to resolving the matter.

"Some people say it's forest land. If the DDA gives this four-five acres of land to Ravidas samaj, the Delhi government will give the Centre 100 acres of land for forest development. Solution to this lies only with the Centre," he stated.

"It's a matter of faith of crores of people. The place is associated with Ravidas, it has got his vibrations. The matter has become a subject of petty politics," he added.

The chief minister said all parties should work for construction of the temple.

"Around 12-15 crore people want the Centre to allocate this four-five acres of land for the temple," he claimed.

Mr Kejriwal further said the issue could be solved either by exploring the possibility of seeking review of the Supreme Court order or by the way of the Centre issuing an ordinance for allotting the land to build the temple.

"I assure the House that the Delhi government will build a grand temple on the plot if it is given by the Centre," he said.

AAP MLA Vishesh Ravi moved the resolution demanding that the Centre bring an ordinance for allocation of land for the temple. It was passed by the House with a voice vote.

"This House resolves to convey the sentiments of millions of people to the central government and demands that the Centre must immediately bring an ordinance to allot the said land for Ravidas Mandir," the resolution stated.

It also accused the Centre of "mishandling" the issue and demanded that the Delhi government build a "magnificent" temple on the land after allotment.

Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, who was marshalled out along with his party MLA OP Sharma for interrupting Mr Kejriwal's speech, said the Delhi government could pave the way for the temple's reconstruction by removing the land in question from forest category.

"The BJP will ensure (that) a grand temple of Sant Ravidas (is built) on the plot if the Delhi government removes it from forest category," Mr Gupta said.

The first day of the Delhi Assembly's Monsoon Session saw legislators of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), particularly those from the Dalit community, attacking the BJP and the Modi government over the temple demolition.

On Wednesday, tension prevailed in south Delhi's Tughlakabad area after a protest by Dalits against the demolition of the temple turned violent.

Several people, including policemen, were injured in the violence.

Protesters brought traffic movement in several parts of Delhi to a standstill and demanded that the temple be rebuilt.

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