Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with changing the nature of politics in the country, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed here today that leaders of the opposition parties were now visiting temples in contrast to their earlier attitude.
"The country's politics has changed. You see the history of leaders of the opposition parties. Earlier, they used to go the madrassas of a particular community, wear a round cap and call it secular. Visiting temples was communal. Now, all those leaders go to temples," he told reporters.
In an apparent reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi visiting temples during the Gujarat election campaign, Vijayvargiya said, "They are going to, not one, but 20 temples. (They are) calling themselves 'janeu-dhari' (sacred thread-wearing)".
"Nobody has seen Rahul ji (Congress President) visiting temples prior to the Gujarat election," he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee used to stop immersion of Durga idols but now she goes to temples, he claimed.
"She is going to Ganga Sagar, saying Sanskrit 'slokas'...," Vijayvargiya said.
"So, Modiji's government has changed the politics of the country and the thinking of the political leaders," he claimed.
Vijayvargiya alleged that "some outsiders" gave provocative speeches at an event which led to violence in Maharashtra in the last two days.
"The Maharashtra chief minister has announced a judicial inquiry yesterday... Some outsiders came and gave provocative speeches because of which violence broke out."
"We feel whenever society tries to unite..., there would be some forces who try to cause fissures in society. The chief minister has announced a judicial inquiry, whatever result comes, it will come before all us," he said.
Asked who those "outsiders" were, he said a judicial inquiry has been announced and that he was speaking on the basis of media reports.
The event to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima- Koregaon battle in Pune district, in which forces of the East India Company defeated the Peshwa's army, was marred by incidents of violence on January 1, with at least one person getting killed.
The Dalit protests against the violence in Pune spread to Mumbai with agitators damaging scores of buses, and disruption.