Yogi prays at Bhagyalaxmi, temple in MIM bastion becomes new rallying point for BJP leaders

Union Home minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya have visited the temple and offered prayers to goddess Bhagyalaxmi.

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  3 July 2022 8:27 AM GMT
Yogi prays at Bhagyalaxmi, temple in MIM bastion becomes new rallying point for BJP leaders

Hyderabad: The famed Bhagyalaxmi temple located adjacent to the historic Charminar in the Old City of Hyderabad has become a new rallying point for the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Union Home minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya have visited the temple and offered prayers to goddess Bhagyalaxmi.

With the BJP National Executive meeting going on at HICC Novotel in the city, state BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay and Ghoshamahal BJP MLA T. Raja Singh are conducting BJP national leaders to the temple which has become a bone of contention between different groups.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the temple attached to the historical Charminar monument, which is an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party stronghold in Hyderabad, on Sunday morning amidst tight security.

Huge crowds gathered at the temple following the buzz that Yogi Adityanath, the double engine and bulldozer, will be offering prayers at the temple.

Many gathered since the morning to have a glimpse of the Chief Minister, one of the most popular CMs of the BJP governments in the country known for his carrot and stick policy and his hardline attitude towards criminals of all shades in Uttar Pradesh. He has become controversial over the demolition of illegal homes of criminals and agitators in UP.

Yogi Adityanath was received with temple honors and took arathi of the goddess. BJP supporters raised "Bharat Mata ki jai" and "Jai Sriram" slogans. He was accompanied by Bandi Sanjay and Raja Singh.

Though Yogi planned to visit the temple on Saturday, it was put off reportedly on the advice of the Intelligence Bureau. Sunday being a holiday the security was put in place for the VVIPs at the temple as more BJP leaders are expected to visit the temple on Sunday and Monday.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister K.P Maurya, noted actress Khushbu, and others visited the temple.

Hyderabad city has turned saffron in view of the two-day BJP National Executive Committee meeting which is attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the top brass of the BJP.

Interestingly, the Bhagyalaxmi temple in Charminar and not the century-old Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad is attracting politicians of late, especially from the BJP and other Hindutva groups.

Bhagyalaxmi temple is mired in controversy over its existence and expansion over the years. It has become a symbol of defiance for BJP and Hindutva groups against MIM which has political sway over the Old City of Hyderabad.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the custodian of the famous Charminar monument.

From a small cornerstone adjacent to Charminar where locals offered prayers before the 60s, it has now turned into the popular Bhagyalaxmi temple.

Historians differ over the existence of the temple and counter it with photographs before and after the 60s. Some photos before the 60s show no temple exists.

In 2012, the Archaeological Survey of India, in an RTI response, called the structure illegal, and subsequently, the High Court ordered to maintain the status quo on a petition of encroachment and stop further expansion. A new demand has now cropped up from some sections to the ASI to open the mosque inside Charminar.

Supporters of the temple like Congress leader G. Niranjan assert that it dates back to the Qutb Shahi period and the stone was worshipped as a sign of prosperity by locals. He also claimed the existence of Charminar and the temple reflected the composite culture of Hyderabad city and "Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb." Some attribute the shrine to Queen Bhagmati or Bhagyavati which is again disputed by historians.

Despite the controversy, Charminar and the Bhagyalaxmi temple have coexisted over the years.

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