Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was recently mocked on social platforms and criticised by rivals for wearing an expensive suit pinstriped with his own full name, strongly expressed his displeasure on Thursday at a temple dedicated to him by his supporters in Gujarat's Rajkot village.
"Have seen the news about a temple being built in my name. I was appalled. This is shocking and against India's great traditions," Modi tweeted. It took two years to build the temple and it initially had a photograph of Modi, now replaced with a bespectacled and bearded stone idol.
Modi's remarks came even as the Bharatiya Janata Party, that suffered a humiliating drubbing at the Delhi assembly elections, is still coming to terms with the loss. News and photos of the temple spread like wildfire on Twitter and Facebook yesterday and the Prime Minister moved in quickly to stem the damage this would inevitably cause to the party's image.
Have seen the news about a Temple being built in my name. I was appalled. This is shocking & against India's great traditions.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 12, 2015
Building such Temples is not what our culture teaches us. Personally, it made me very sad. Would urge those doing it not to do it.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 12, 2015
If you have time & resources, please devote the same towards fulfilling our dream of a Clean India.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 12, 2015
Ramesh Undhad, who donated funds for the temple, said it took nearly four years to get the Prime Minister's idol made. "This idol cost us Rs 1.65 lakh. We tried getting it made from various artists for over three to four years but no one could make an exact copy of Modi. Then finally we called artists from Odisha and they created this idol, which looks exactly like Modi," said Unhad.
Unhad added that fans considered Prime Minister Modi as the second Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the country's most looked-up statesmen. Meanwhile, village head, Mansukh Thumar, said every village should have a temple like this.
"Prayers are conducted in this temple in morning and evening and people from the entire village come to the temple including people from the neighbouring villages," said Thumar.
(With inputs from ANI)