Senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a modern-day avatar” of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Nirupam claimed several temples in Varanasi had been demolished under the instruction of Modi.

Varanasi is the constituency that Modi represents in the Lok Sabha.

“I feel that the person that people here [Varanasi] have chosen, Narendra Modi, is actually the modern-day avatar of Aurangzeb,” Nirupam told reporters in Varanasi. “Under the name of building [Kashi Vishwanath] corridor project in Varanasi, several temples have been demolished, as per Modi’s instruction...There is also a Rs 550 fee for entering the temple of Lord Vishwanath [at Kashi Vishwanath temple].”

He said he condemned the decisions taken by “Aurangzeb” Modi. Nirupam further said: “What Aurangzeb could not do, that Narendra Modi has done...There was a time when Aurangzeb came to the streets of Kashi to destroy our temples, even then the residents had saved her temples and protested.”

In June 2018, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had claimed that Modi is “far more cruel” than the Mughal emperor.


The Congress leader also defended his party’s claim that the former United Progressive Alliance government had conducted surgical strikes. “BJP has now come on the backfoot because we revealed the truth that surgical strikes took place even under Congress rule,” he said, according to ANI. “The power of the Indian Army during our rule was so much that we were able to split Pakistan into two.”

Varanasi will go to vote on May 19 and the results for the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections will be declared on May 23.