Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Wednesday called up the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to register protest against a government affidavit before the Supreme Court saying epics were not historical records that could prove the existence of Lord Ram.
"When Advani called up, the prime minister was not available. So the leader of opposition talked to the prime minister's media advisor Sanjay Baru," BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told IANS.
"The prime minister is likely to return Advani's call sometime tomorrow morning," he added.
The government has told the apex court in an affidavit filed Monday: "The Valmiki Ramayana, the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas and other mythological texts, which admittedly form an ancient part of Indian literature, cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters or the occurrence of the events depicted therein."
It was responding to a query whether the Ram Sethu, geographically known as Adam's Bridge, could be declared a protected monument.
The court was hearing a petition against the Rs 24 billion Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), which aims to provide a shorter navigational sea route around India's southern peninsula by dredging the peak of what is believed to be the Ram Sethu - a move opposed by many Hindu groups and the BJP.
Prakash Javadekar, also a BJP spokesperson, said Advani had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, objecting to the content of the affidavit.
Javadekar termed the affidavit as "blasphemous and the worst type of insult of people in India who have grown up with the Ramayana".
"Ramayana is not only a religious epic but also a national heritage and part of the culture of this country," he said.