Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took a swipe at the opposition over the building of a temple in UP’s Ayodhya, hitting out at “those who questioned the existence of Lord Ram”. Addressing a rally in Bihar’s West Champaran, on the final day of campaigning for the second phase, he said such people had “created hurdles in the way of building” the temple.
“With the people’s co-operation a grand Ram temple is being constructed in Ayodhya. You should not forget those who questioned the existence of Lord Ram and created hurdles in the way of building the temple,” the Prime Minister said.
“Those who are against the NDA do not have any evidence or logic,” the PM added.
This is the second time in the past few days the Prime Minister has referred to the Ram temple to outline his government’s work and the ruling coalition’s promises for Bihar.
“After centuries of penance, finally a grand Ram Temple is being built in Ayodhya. Those in politics who used to ask us for a tareekh (date), they are compelled to applaud. This is the identity of the BJP, the NDA – what we say, we do,” the Prime Minister said.
The BJP has frequently targeted the Congress on the issue of questioning the existence of Lord Ram.
In March last year, ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Union Minister Smriti Irani mocked Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s proposed visit to Ayodhya and referred to the party as one that refused to believe in the existence of Lord Ram but had turned into an outfit of Ram followers for votes.
The taunt was in reference to the Congress-led UPA government withdrawing, in 2007, an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the Archaeological Society of India (ASI) claiming there was no historical or scientific evidence to establish the existence of Lord Ram.
In December, after the top court’s verdict, Ms Irani hit out again, declaring: “Voters should seek an explanation from Congress why it questioned the existence of Lord Ram.”
Meanwhile, in his West Champaran speech today the Prime Minister also, once again, raised his government’s Article 370 decision and, once again, appeared to target the Congress.
“When we abrogated Article 370, they said there will be bloodshed… Today J&K and Ladakh are on the path of development…” he said, referring to the Congress’s criticism of the Article 370 decision.
However, as with the comment on the Ram temple, many have seen his references to Article 370 as a veiled dig at Nitish Kumar, who was opposed to the decision but came around after it became law.
The second phase of Bihar polls is scheduled for November 3, with the third and final phase four days later. Results will be declared November 10.
With input from ANI