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Build toilets first, temples later: Narendra Modi advises students
Wednesday October 2, 2013 10:56 PM, Staff Reporter

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is accused of master-minding the anti-Muslim riots in his home state in 2002, on Wednesday urged the students to build toilets first, temples later.

"My identity is of a Hindutvawadi, but I say build toilets before you build temples", Modi is quoted as saying by NDTV while addressing students in New Delhi.

Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had created a hue and cry on similar comments by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh couple of months back, is completely silent on Modi's comments.

Jairam Ramesh was criticised from some quarters of the opposition, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal for his comments, "toilets are more important than temples in India".

The remarks, however, was supported by NGOs. Annie Raja, general secretary All India National Federation of Indian Women, said "vested interests were playing up" the minister's remark.

Prem Jakhar, an office assistant, said the "muck-filled" toilets she encounters every time she has to take a bus trip to different places, makes her feel like retching.

"The toilets are so dirty, you can't even step into them, leave alone use them," Jakhar said.

According to Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak, the minister's remark was in "no way hurting religious sentiments".

"India has small and big temples in large numbers, but you will not find any public conveniences around these temples. The minister did not say anything to hurt anyone," Pathak told IANS.


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