Vaghela wants Ram temple, uniform civil code

Vaghela wants Ram temple, uniform civil code

Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela on Wednesday raised many an eyebrow when he asked prime minister-designate Narendra Modi to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya and enforce a uniform civil code.

Speaking at the special session of the Gujarat Assembly convened to bid farewell to Modi, Vaghela, who was once with the BJP, said: “When (Lal Krishna) Advani took out the Rath Yatra, the BJP was at the climax (sic) in terms of votes but (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee had to make compromises because of the NDA. Now, the BJP has a majority on its own. If NDA comes along, it is good. If not, build a Ram temple in Ayodhya within the Constitutional framework.”

Vaghela, who has his roots in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also spoke of the BJP’s promise of enforcing a uniform civil code and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.Vaghela, who initially greeted Modi with a shawl, took everyone by surprise with his speech.

He said: “Former prime minister Morarji Desai, too, shot to fame via Godhra as he was accused of bias. Now we have another prime minister who has been a pracharak at Vadodara and Godhra and I would not wish to go into what happened in 2002.”

He reminded Modi that several things were promised during the campaign like jobs to youth and controlling inflation. “We will not ask you any questions till you complete one year (in office). But we will seek answers after one year about inflation,” he added. 

In a tone of sarcasm, Vaghela suggested constituting a committee under yoga guru Ramdev to bring back the black money stashed away in foreign banks. Vaghela also asked Modi to resolve all pending issues Gujarat had with the UPA government at the Centre.

He listed issues like delay in construction of gates on the Narmada Dam, gas prices and coal linkages for power plants in the state over which the Gujarat government under Modi was critical of the Centre.  

Meanwhile, an emotional Modi recalled moments of success and his experiences in the Assembly. Modi reached out to all MLAs and said that it was because of this united front in the House, where there was criticism and praise from the Opposition, had led to the formation of the much-talked about Gujarat model.

Modi said, now one will get to hear Gujarati and also get to eat Fafda and Khakda (Gujarati delicacies) in the prime minister’s office. 

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