Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has stripped Samajwadi Party leader Ompal Nehra of minister of state status after his remarks asking Muslims to help build temples in Ayodhya and Mathura.
“Nehra has been sacked by the Chief Minister on Friday,” SP spokesman and cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhury told a news agency.
The action by Chief Minister, who is also the state president of ruling Samajwadi Party, came as the Ram temple issue came into renewed focus with two truck loads of stones for construction of the temple being brought to Ayodhya by Vishva Hindu Parishad.
Nehra had on December 23 suggested during a function that Muslims should come forward and help build temples at disputed sites in Ayodhya and Mathura, so that organisations like VHP lose their identity.
“Where can a Ram temple be built if not in Ayodhya? It is an emotional issue. In Mathura, where we worship Krishna, how can there be a mosque there. Muslims should think about it and in fact come forward for Kar Seva (voluntary work) and say build the temples at these places. We should not fall in their (VHP’s)trap,” Nehra has said in Bijnore.