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War of words on Ram hots up

india Updated: Sep 22, 2007 17:09 IST

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The spat between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and BJP and VHP leaders over his controversial anti-Ram remarks grew shrill on Wednesday after the attack on his daughter's home and on a state transport bus in Bangalore that left two dead.

Karunanidhi, who stuck to his stand that no one called Lord Ram had existed, said "we welcome opposition but we won't be cowed down." His remarks were believed to be responsible for the twin attacks last night.

Asserting that his remarks including his poser as to which engineering college did Ram study had been blown out of proportion, the DMK strongman told a TV channel the burning of a Tamil Nadu state transport bus near Bangalore showed the "true culture of Ram Sewaks."

Referring to the attack on his daughter Selvi's house at Bangalore, he said "I treat these things like a speck of dust. I only welcome this kind of opposition."

Hitting out at Karunanidhi , BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad once again dared him to make such "sacrilegious" comments about other faiths and Gods as he did towards Lord Ram.

"Why this arrogance on the part of Karunanidhi. He is asking for Lord Ram's engineering certificate. Can he ask the same question about other religions ?," Prasad said while addressing the BJP state council meet in Tirunelveli.

BJP leader V K Malhotra said in Delhi that Karunanidhi should not have made the remarks against Ram especially since the DMK was a major constituent of the ruling UPA.

VHP leader Ashok Singhal condemned the remarks and said the outfit will launch protests.

As security was beefed up on Hosur road linking Bangalore to the Tamil Nadu border after the burning of the bus, Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy urged people not to encourage this type of incidents.