After embracing cow politics in Madhya Pradesh ahead of Assembly polls, Congress has now played up to the majority sentiment in Rajasthan by wading into the Ayodhya controversy.
Playing a BJP, Congress leader CP Joshi claimed that if any government can deliver on the promise of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, it is under a Congress prime minister.
The Congress party usually gives a guarded response when directly confronted with the Ram mandir issue. The party, in recent times, have stated that it will welcome the Supreme Court's verdict on the issue. However, with elections just around the corner, Joshi decided to throw caution out of the window and said that the if anyone, only a Congress prime minister will have the will to build the temple.
Speaking to News18 Rajasthan, Joshi even invoked a controversial chapter from Congress' past and said, "It was Rajiv Gandhi who opened the lock of the Babri Masjid premise and allowed religious rites inside the disputed structure. Only a Congress prime minister can get the temple built."
Joshi, who is contesting the Assembly polls this time from Nathdwara, even flayed the BJP for picking up the issue only in poll season to derive electoral gains. He, however, said that the BJP can't do anything this time in Rajasthan as it is facing massive anti-incumbency.
It was indeed Rajiv who persuaded the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Bir Bahadur Singh to open the lock in 1986 and allowed religious rites to take place inside the disputed structure. This triggered a mass movement by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which launched an agitation to break free the idols of Lord Rama and Sita from "captivity".
“Sacred stones” were carried from all over the country to lay the foundation of the temple, and in light of this, massive riots occurred all across north India, particularly Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress party, which banks on the support of Muslim votes in other states, usually does not explicitly backs the construction of a temple at the disputed site. "We will abide by the Supreme Court judgment," has usually been the party's official stance. Whether or not the Congress' central leadership echoes Joshi's views remains to be seen.
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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 13:17:35 IST