Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday asked the Congress to support his party in re-building the Ram temple in Ayodhya as, according to him, even Rajiv Gandhi envisioned the establishment of ‘Ram Rajya’.
Swamy was speaking at a two-day seminar on ‘Shri Ram Janmabhoomi: Emerging Scenario’ that began on Saturday at Delhi University’s Conference Centre amid protest by Congress’ student wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), AAP’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) and the Left-leaning groups -- AISA, KYS and SFI.
“I, in my personal capacity, want to state that Rajiv Gandhi told me that ‘Ram Mandir’ will be re-built and whenever he would get an opportunity he would contribute. And his first contribution, despite massive opposition, was to allow the telecast of Ramayana on television, which motivated the masses. Even in his first election speech in 1989, he had said there should be Ram Rajya in the country. He was a good man and I say the Congress party should respect his views,” said Swamy, amid cheers and slogans of “Jai Siya Ram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
The Congress reacted sharply to his remarks and insisted that the matter is sub-judice.
“Mr Swamy’s psychopathic hatred for late Rajivji is well-known. Unfortunately, he and RSS have carried their sinister agenda of spreading misinformation and mal-intent down the generations. Mr Swamy is the last person to comment upon any opinion of late Rajivji,” party chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
“We believe that the issue is sub-judice and we should all await a settlement by the court of law,” he added.
In his inaugural address on Saturday, Swamy also said that the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya was ‘mandatory’ for revival of our culture. “We have started and we will not give up. But nothing will be done forcibly and against the law,” he said.
Ugly scenes were witnessed at the seminar venue with a scuffle breaking out between NSUI and members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that is supporting the seminar organised by Arundhati Vashishtha Anusandhan Peeth — a research organisation founded by former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, late Ashok Singhal.
DU security guards had to resort to a mild lathi charge to disperse the protesting students from the gate. There was a heavy deployment of Delhi Police and ITBP personnel at the North Campus on Saturday, as a number of student organisations were protesting against the seminar. As Swamy spoke inside, around five-six students also enacted the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition by lying down on the road while being covered in shrouds that had red stains.