Modi attends silver jubilee function of Akshardham temple

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Nov 2017 09:03:21



PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended the silver jubilee function of the Akshardham temple of the Bochasanwasi Shri Aksharpurushottam Swaminar-ayan Sanstha (BAPS) here which has many followers in the Patidar community in Gujarat.

Modi did not speak much about politics but made a reference to the agitation by the Patels for quotas, while recalling his long association with the seers of the Swaminarayan sect, apparently seeking to strike a chord with the Patidar community.

“This Swaminaryan sect has a very large following among the Patel community members. Patel community has traditionally been with the BJP, but a section of the community has turned against the party due to recent agitation for reservation,” he said.

The Congress is trying to wean away Patidar voters, who have been the bedrock of the BJP’s support base in the State, apart from the upper castes and the Vaishya community, from the saffron party. Led by Hardik Patel, a sizeable section of the Patidars has been demanding reservation in Government jobs and educational institutions under the OBC quota. In his address, Modi praised late Pramukh Swami Maharaj for bringing in “modern management” in BAPS while keeping the Indian tradition followed by seers alive.

“Pramukh Swami Maharaj constructed around 1200 temples in his life time. They are not just brick-and-stone structures, but centres of cultural and spiritual enlightenment. “He brought modern management to the sect and used to complete all the projects on time,” the Prime Minister said.
In April this year, Modi had paid an emotional tribute to Pramukh Swami who died at the sect’s temple in Sarangpur in Botad district.

“When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I had invited saints of the sect to give lectures to our bureaucrats on how to complete projects in time. The Governments are known to delay projects and Narmada dam is a glaring example,” Modi said.