Buoyed by their success in forcing the government to withdraw its affidavit on the Ram Setu issue in Supreme Court, the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are now planning to step up their campaign against the Sethusamudram project in the coming months. They plan to sustain the effort till the mid-term elections, which they expect next year.
“It’s a win-win situation for us. If the government continues to put off our demand for an alternative alignment to spare the setu from damage, we will go to the people with their anti-Hindu stance and remind them of its offending claim in the affidavit denying the existence of Lord Ram. If the UPA gives in to our demand, we can claim a moral victory for Hindus,” explained a senior BJP leader. The campaign will be extended over the next six to eight months, he said.
Leader of Opposition LK Advani had said on Thursday that the setu will be an election issue for the BJP and asserted that mid-term polls were a certainty next year.
The Ram Setu issue will figure prominently in the party’s forthcoming national executive meet in Bhopal between September 21 and 23.
Meanwhile, not satisfied with the withdrawal of the affidavit filed by the UPA in SC, the BJP on Friday stuck to its demand for an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and resignation of the minister responsible for clearing the move.
“The withdrawal is no abatement of the seriousness of the issue. We regard this affidavit as a crime and blasphemy,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. He pointed out that the government withdrew the affidavit only after there was widespread outrage on the issue.
He demanded an unequivocal assurance to the nation that the Ram Setu would not be damaged. Till such an assurance was given, the campaign on the issue would not be withdrawn , the BJP leader said.