Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq on Sunday claimed that there was no ‘Shivling’ in Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the word was spread about it to stoke sentiments for the upcoming 2024 parliamentary elections.
"All these circumstances are being created due to 2024 elections. If you go into the history there was no 'Shivling' and nothing else in the Gyanvapi mosque. All this is wrong," Barq, an MP from Sambhal, told reporters outside the Samajwadi Party office.
Barq was here to meet SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
On Ayodhya, Barq said, "Though a Ram temple is being constructed, I still say that there is a mosque there"."Ye takat ke bal-boote pe ho raha" (This is purely a display of power)."
"We are being targeted. Mosques are being attacked. The government doesn’t run like this. Government should run with honesty and rule of law. There is a rule of Bulldozer, not of law," he alleged.
A local court in Varanasi on May 16 directed the district administration to seal a spot in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after counsels representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found during a court-mandated videography survey.
A mosque management committee spokesperson disputed the claim, telling a television channel that the object was part of a “fountain”.
A day later, the top court directed the district magistrate of Varanasi to ensure the protection of an area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where a 'Shivling' was said to have been found and allowed Muslims to offer ‘namaz’ and perform “religious observances”.