Days after a controversy over the Assam government’s claims about the existence of ‘Bhimashankar Jyotirling’ in the north-eastern state, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said everyone is aware that the holy place is located in the western Indian state.
“Everyone is aware that Bhimashankar Jyotirling is in Maharashtra and nobody has any doubts over this,” Fadnavis told reporters on Tuesday.
“If I were to give an advertisement tomorrow claiming that Kamakhya temple is in Maharashtra, will Kamakhya temple come to Maharashtra? It will stay where it is, at Guwahati,” Fadnavis said.
“I feel those raising such issues have no other issues to raise,” the senior BJP leader said.
The remarks by Fadnavis came after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday asserted that the Bhimashankar Jyotirling is situated in the ancient Kamrup region of the northeastern state.
During a visit to the ‘Bhimashankar Dham Jyotirling Temple’ at Pamohi in Guwahati, Sarma said the advent of ‘Bhimashankar Jyotirling’ took place in ‘Kamrup Pradesh’ as per the ‘Shiva Puran’.
"The ‘Puran’ has descriptions of Dakini hill, Kamrup, and the king of Kamrup. It is written in the ‘Shiv Puran’ that ‘Bhimashankar Jyotirling’ is in Kamrup. "This is our belief. Maharashtra may have its beliefs. Other places in India also have their beliefs regarding Lord Shiva," Sarma, also from BJP, had told reporters.
A controversy had recently erupted with leaders from Maharashtra cutting across political lines objecting to an Assam government advertisement with the claims.
According to Hindu mythology, a Jyotirling (column or pillar of light) is a devotional representation of Lord Shiva.
Traditionally, the Shiva temple at Bhimashankar near Pune in Maharashtra is considered to be among the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in the country.
Sarma had also claimed that Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray faction lost its symbol as the fallout of the ‘Bhimashankar Jyotirling’ episode.
The Election Commission had on Friday recognised Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena, and ordered allocation of the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol to it, delivering a big blow to Uddhav, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966.
The Akhil Bhartiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha on Wednesday said the Assam government’s claim about the existence of Bhimashankar Jyotirling in that state was an attempt to distort religious history.
It said the Assam government recently released full-page advertisements in newspapers claiming Bhimashankar in Assam as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and a call to pay obeisance to the deity on Maha Shivratri by visiting Bhimashankar Jyotirling in Assam was also given through the advertisement.