The Congress and the Left parties read a "desperation’’ in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) attempt to revive its Hindutva agenda, including the Ayodhya issue, ahead of the UP Assembly elections.
While the Opposition party’s claim to build a temple will find no takers among the people, the kind of remarks its leaders have been making are likely to harm the country, they say, demanding a response from the BJP’s allies in the NDA.
"The BJP’s tone, tenor and stand at its national council session in Lucknow show its desperation. It is increasingly faced with the reality that its communal agenda is not being accepted by the people. It has made statements that no responsible party would make,’’ said CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, alluding to remarks made about a second partition. He warned that the BJP’s rhetoric and politics could harm the country and it was imperative to expose the party.
The Congress joined in slamming the saffron party. "The BJP has always tried to whip up religious sentiments but their strategy will not work now. They stand exposed before the people because they did nothing on the Ayodhya issue when they were in power in UP for eight years and at the Centre for six years. People now know they are not at all serious about building the temple,’’ said spokesman Satyavrat Chaturvedi. He also pointed out that there has been a status quo on the issue since the Supreme Court took over the matter.
CPI’s D Raja condemned the BJP’s "medieval, fascist’’ thinking and politics and alleged that the conclave reflected the saffron party’s "ideological bankruptcy.’’ According to him, "People have repeatedly rejected Hindutva. Our country will not accept any form of theocratic government. Our Constitution also talks about India being a republic. Is the BJP challenging the Constitution? It needs to remember that the Ayodhya case is pending with the judiciary and their top leaders are chargesheeted in the Babri Masjid demolition case.’’
On his part, Sharad Yadav, whose JD (U) is part of the BJP-led NDA, did not refer to the BJP or its Lucknow meeting. He maintained that the temple is a non-issue with the party and the people because the matter has to be resolved through negotiations between the contending parties or through their acceptance of the court order. The issues his party has been raising in UP are those that touch the lives of people -- unemployment, roads, electricity, water, health and development. "It is only on these issues that people will vote,’’ said Yadav whose party has, along with the Apna Dal, held meetings in 25 districts so far.
Yadav, however, refused to comment whether the JD (S) would go with the BJP in the UP elections.
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