Narendra Modi got his enlightenment 22 years late: Jairam Ramesh on 'toilets before temples' remark NEW DELHI: A day after BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi's "toilets first, temples later" comment, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh hit back saying the Gujarat CM's realisation had come 22 years too late and was prompted by compulsion rather than conviction. Last year, Ramesh had come under attack from the Sangh Parivar and found himself abandoned by his party, for making a similar toilet versus temple comment. "I had also said the same thing, and the BJP had opposed it. It is a matter of regret that nobody defended me then," Ramesh said. "I still believe we need more toilets than temples. I wish the Gujarat chief minister had this enlightenment 22 years ago then India's politics would have been different," the rural development minister said. "Babri Masjid would not have happened, the Bombay bomb blasts and ensuing communal riots across the country would not happened and the Godhra riots would not have happened." Ramesh, who as sanitation minister championed the need for toilets, said Modi's realisation was driven by political expediency. "I spoke out of conviction, Modi speaks out of compulsion. In his search for the PM's position, this aspirant Modi can say anything and do anything," he said. "I still believe we need more toilets than temples. ...I am happy however, that the Gujarat chief minister had this enlightenment," Ramesh added. Ramesh, however, reserved his ire for the BJP and the sister organisations of the Sangh Parivar. As sanitation minister, Ramesh had come under attack from the BJP and some outfits of the Sangh Parivar for a similar comment he had made barely 12 months ago. The BJP responded saying there was a distinction between what the two had said. "Modi, who has been in favour of development as top of his agenda, is now talking of providing people with basic amenities. He does not compare toilets with temples. This is different from Ramesh, who said toilets were more important than temples," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said. The Congress has now accused the BJP of going silent on whatever Modi says. "Ramesh had once said toilets should be made before temples. BJP had then criticised him and demanded that he seek an apology," junior minister for parliamentary affairs, Rajiv Shukla, said.[/B] Narendra Modi's toilet talk compulsion, mine conviction: Jairam Ramesh - The Economic Times ************************************ To be fair, I heard Jairam's and Modi's statement. Narendra Modi said: India should build 'toilets before temples'. Iairam Ramesh said ' Sauchalaya mandir se bhi paviitra hai'. Modi said first build toilets since women have to go to the fields, and then temples. Jairam said Toilets are more holy than temples.