SP scuttles move to construct Mulayam temple in Aligarh

The Samajwadi Party has scuttled the move of Rajesh Saini, a former state secretary, to construct a temple of party president Mulayam Singh Yadav in Aligarh.

Work on the temple, which was started on Mulayam's birthday on November 22, has been stopped after instructions from the party headquarters. However, Saini is not disheartened. He plans to meet Mulayam and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and request them to allow him to go ahead with his project.

"We did the Bhumi Pujan on Netaji's birthday. We also placed an order for his statue, but now everything has been stopped on the party's instructions," said Saini.

He said that party state secretary S R S Yadav had called him from the Lucknow office and asked him to immediately stop work. "He said that such a temple is not allowed by the party and it is against the principles of socialism," Saini told The Indian Express.

Nevertheless, Saini wants to approach both Mulayam and Akhilesh for permission to construct the temple because "even if it is not permissible in the party, I can do it at a personal level".

The proposed temple was to come up at Dhanipur village and the locals had donated 150 square feet of land, said Saini. A white marble statue of Mulayam was to be installed. "The locals had contributed the money and placed the order with a sculptor," Saini said. The temple was to cost Rs 7-8 lakh.

Saini said he wanted to build the temple because Mulayam had done a lot for the uplift of Dalits and OBCs and poor people in general. "People in my area want to worship him as god," he said. The SP leadership became wary as soon as it heard of Saini's temple project. The party and Mulayam himself have been highly critical of former chief minister Mayawati for installing her own statues. SP's national general secretary Ram Asrey Kushwaha was asked to dissuade Saini.

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