Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Aurangzeb, claiming that like the Mughal emperor, he has also destroyed scores of temples in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. In the temple town to campaign for Ajay Rai, Congress candidate against the PM Modi in Varanasi, Nirupam said that Modi is the modern-day version of Aurangzeb as it was him who directed to demolish several temples in the city to build the a corridor.
Nirupam was referring to the demolition drive to build the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Varanasi, as part of which scores of temples were allegedly demolished. The former Mumbai Congress chief claimed that the prime minister has imposed a 'fine' of Rs 550 on disciples who want to visit the famous Baba Vishwanath temple in the holy city.
"This is proof that whatever Aurangzeb could not do, Modi is doing today," he said, adding that Aurangzeb had also come to the streets of Kashi to destroy our temples.This isn't the first time political parties have dragged the 17th century Mughal ruler in the elections. Earlier, a Rajasthan BJP leader has compared Congress president Rahul Gandhi with Aurangzeb.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, where he had polled 5.8 lakh votes in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Varanasi will go to polls in the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held on May 19.
Despite speculations of Priyanka Gandhi being the challenger to PM Modi in Varanasi, the Congress party once again fielded Ajay Rai from the constiteuncy. In 2014, Rai had to face humiliating defeat at the hands of Modi and came third with 75,614 votes.