Sangh asks BJP to keep off Ram Setu | india | Hindustan Times
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Sangh asks BJP to keep off Ram Setu

The BJP drops its plans for carrying out a countrywide campaign on the Ram Setu issue focusing on the Centre's objectionable affidavit in the Supreme Court, reports Hemendra Singh Bartwal.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2007 02:55 IST
Hemendra Singh Bartwal

On the directions of the RSS top brass, the BJP has dropped its plans for carrying out a countrywide campaign on the Ram Setu issue focusing on the Centre's objectionable affidavit in the Supreme Court. According to sources, the Sangh did not want the Setu campaign to go the way of the Ayodhya movement assuming political overtones.

The BJP has been asked to merely lend support to the campaign being conducted under the auspices of the VHP-sponsored Shri Rameshwaram Ram Setu Raksha Samiti.

Earlier, when the controversy over the contents of the affidavit broke out, senior party leader L.K. Advani had declared that the party would launch a nation-wide agitation on the issue to highlight the UPA Government’s “anti-Hindu” character.

He had also not ruled out another ‘rath yatra’ campaign on the issue. All such plans have been hastily dropped following the Sangh’s diktat to the party leadership not to attempt “hijacking” the Setu movement to serve their purpose. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar admitted on Tuesday that the party would not carry out a separate campaign but participate in the movement being led by the Raksha Samiti.

The Ram Setu will also not be a central issue in the forthcoming BJP national executive meeting in Bhopal between September 21 and 23, according to a top party leader. It will, however, be mentioned in the political resolution that is to be adopted by the executive.

With the possibility of a mid-term poll looming large, the Bhopal conclave is expected to focus on chalking out the broad contours of election strategy, reviewing the party's state of preparedness and deliberating upon the whole range of issues with which to go to the people.

The UPA Government's move to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee for uplift of the Muslim community will be the major issue to engage the attention of the saffron party’s top leadership at the meet, sources said. In fact, it is said to be the focal point of party chief Rajnath Singh's inaugural day presidential address which will attack the UPA Government's "divisive policies".