How a 36-sq km island has come to occupy prime space in BJP campaign | Political Pulse News,The Indian Express
Bet Dwarka, with a big Krishna temple, saw a demolition drive in Oct of illegal structures, including religious ones belonging to the minority community, now it figures in speeches of top BJP leaders
Over the next week, around a hundred structures were razed, including shops and homes and more than two dozen religious structures of the minority community, with officers claiming to have cleared area measuring 1 lakh sq feet. Police imposed restrictions on movement during this time to and from Bet Dwarka, a 36-sq km island with a population of around 15,000, located off the Okha coast.
A month later, the drive on the island, which holds the Shree Dwarkadhis Mukhya Mandir dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is believed to have set up his kingdom here, plus other Hindu temples, has become a recurring theme in the narrative of the BJP’s election campaign.
Days later, the demolition drive had started assuming political colours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi “congratulated” Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel at a public meeting in neighbouring Jamnagar district on October 11, while launching some government projects.
He said the drive had shown Gujarat the “mrudu ane makkam (soft and firm)” face of Patel, a description Modi is fond of when it comes to the CM. “People were revelling after constructing illegal constructions on the coastline… they were all cleared, silently… So much land (was cleared) and Bet Dwarka’s pride (restored). I noted statements of the culture lovers, saints and religious heads. It made me happy.”
Demolition drives were conducted simultaneously in neighbouring Porbandar and Gir Somnath districts, and a few dozen structures, including a dargah, were razed in these coastal districts.