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Vasundhara Raje Govt Builds 50 Holy Statues Ahead of Polls, Congress Cries Vote Bank Politics

By: Bhawani Deora

Last Updated: October 03, 2018, 12:49 IST

Vasundhara Raje Govt Builds 50 Holy Statues Ahead of Polls, Congress Cries Vote Bank Politics

Congress spokeperson Archana sharma said the Vasundhara Raje government is politicising the panoramas as caste and community symbols for vote bank politics.

Jaipur: Be it Rajputs and Jats or the members of camel-herding and ST/SC communities, the BJP government in Rajasthan has come up with a way to please them all before the upcoming assembly elections. A many as 50 panoramas of local religious deities, noblemen, saints and warriors — from various communities — have been built across the state.

For instance, the members of Rajasthan’s Jat community are devotees of a local deity called Veer Tejaji, and Vasundhara Raje government has built a panorama of Tejaji at Kharnal Village in Nagour district. Kharnal is the birth place of Tejaji and the devotees go there to offer prayers. The western Rajasthan, known to be a Jat-dominated area, will play a key role in determining the fate of 40 seats in the upcoming election.

For the Scheduled Caste community, the government has built a panorama of Ramdev ji, also known as Ramdev Baba, in Ramdevra Village of Jaislmer District. Ramdev Baba has a huge following among the ST/SC community.

Same is the case with the camel-herding communities Raika and Rebari, which worship Pabuji Rathore. The folk-deity’s statue and panorama have been placed in Jodhpur’s Kolu Village. Pabuji is also popular among people from the Schedule Caste.

Several historic Rajput rulers and warriors from history have also found a place in the list. A panorama of Mughal-era ruler Amar Singh Rathore, who had defied the might of Shah Jahan at the royal court in Agra, has been placed in Nagour. Amar Singh Rathore is seen as an icon of bravery and freedom by the Rajputs, another major caste in the State. Every year, the Rajput community celebrates his birth day in Nagour.

Other panoramas include those of legendary saints such as Meera Bai, Sant Ravidas and Sant Bhagat Peepa.

Accusing the Raje government of vote bank politics, state’s Congress spokeperson Archana sharma said, “The Raje government is politicising these Panoramas as caste and community symbols for vote bank politics.” But Onkar Singh Lakhawat, chairman of Rajasthan’s Heritage Promotion Board, refuted these allegations, saying the BJP is only trying to pay tribute to the unsung heroes through the panoramas.

Since cow protection has become a major issue in Rajasthan due to cases of lynching in the past, the government has portrayed local deities Veer Tejaji and Pabuji Rathore as cow vigilantes who sacrificed their lives to protect the animal.

Muslim freedom fighters have also found place in the list, in what seems like a bid to give out the message of secularism. In Alwar, which was in the news recently for a lynching incident in name of saving cows, the Raje government has erected panoramas of Hasan Khan Mewati, a freedom fighter from the Meo community.
first published:October 03, 2018, 12:36 IST
last updated:October 03, 2018, 12:49 IST