'Acquire' Kashi, Mathura temple lands: Swamy to centre

Subramaniyan Swamy. (DH file photo)

Stoking a fresh controversy, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has asked the Centre to "acquire" the lands on which the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and Srikrishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura were situated.

Speaking at a function at Prayagraj, about 200 kilometres from here, on Sunday, Swamy also called for launching an Ayodhya-like movement to "build pressure" on the Centre for this purpose (acquisition of temple lands).

"Both Kashi and Mathura are important religious centres for us... The Centre should acquire the lands," the BJP leader said.

Swamy said that hundreds of Hindu temples had been demolished during the Muslim rule in the country. 

Earlier, the All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP), an apex body of seers in the country, had also said that it would launch a movement to get the mosques adjoining the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and Shrikrishna Janambhoomi in Mathura shifted once the Ram temple was built.

AIAP president Mahant Narendra Giri had said that there was a "pro-Hindu" government in Uttar Pradesh as well as at the Centre and hence there should not be any problem in achieving the twin objectives.

"Like Ram temple, the Kashi and Mathura too are revered by Hindus worldwide... They belong to us and we will take them," the Mahant (religious head) had said.

He had also asked Muslims to withdraw their claims on Kashi and Mathura to promote communal harmony.

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