Close on the heels of two senior Congress leaders criticising Culture Minister Ambika Soni for submitting a controversial affidavit in the Supreme Court, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said on Tuesday it was "foolish" to question Lord Ram's existence.
"Millions of people in the country believe in Lord Ram. Doubting and questioning his existence is foolish. How can some one do this?" Singh said on the sidelines of an event on drinking water and sanitation in New Delhi.
Asked whether he wanted Soni to resign, he said: "I am not asking for her resignation but a mistake has been made and there is a need to rectify it."
"Science or no science, there is no question mark on Lord Ram."
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jairam Ramesh and senior Congress leader RK Dhawan have said that Soni should resign owning moral responsibility.
The controversy relates to the Rs 24 billion Sethusamudram project that aims to provide a shorter navigational sea route around India's southern peninsula that might damage what is believed to be the Ram Sethu.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been opposing the project on the ground that the Ram Sethu cannot be damaged as it is held sacred by millions of Hindus who believe in Lord Ram.
An affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India, under the culture ministry, in the Supreme Court on September 12, however, questioned the historical existence of Lord Ram.
Soon after it was submitted, the BJP and its affiliate, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, came down heavily on the government for hurting Hindu sentiments, forcing the government to withdraw it.