Cong in tight spot as Sangh raises Ayodhya pitch

Cong in tight spot as Sangh raises Ayodhya pitch

Congress is in a tight spot as the Sangh Parivar raises the pitch for a Ram temple in Ayodhya

The BJP knows full well that the main Opposition party, keen to counter its pro-Muslim perception will find it difficult to oppose any legislation to facilitate construction of the temple at the disputed site.

At the meeting of the Sant Samiti, attended by 3000 odd saints from 127 Hindu organisations, Swami Chinmayananda, former junior minister in Vajpayee government, asked Modi to show courage on the Ayodhya issue, which will make it difficult for the “Opposition with 44 seats, to win even 04 seats”.

The reference was to Congress, which recorded its worst electoral debacle by winning only 44 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 general election, almost five times lower than its 2009 tally of 206 Lok Sabha seats.

This is not the first time that Congress’ compulsion on Ram mandir issue has been flagged by the Sangh Parivar and its supporters and affiliates.

Shiv bhakt

Last week, VHP working President Alok Kumar, while pitching for an ordinance or law on Ram temple, said that this will also test Hindutva commitment of Rahul Gandhi, who has been projecting himself as a ‘Shiv Bhakt’ and temple hopping.

“We will go to meet all Opposition MPs to seek their support on Ram temple. The nation will see what is the commitment of Rahul Gandhi to Lord Ram,” he said.

RSS ideologue and Rajya Sabha Member Rakesh Sinha, who proposed to table a private member's bill in support of Ram temple, asked if Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad and Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu would support him.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, earlier this month, said even the Opposition cannot openly oppose a Ram temple in Ayodhya as they are aware the deity is revered by a majority of Indians. 

Congress has so far confined itself to reactions and questioned BJP’s commitment to the cause saying they dust up the issue every five years just before elections. 

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has held that bringing any bill or ordinance fo Ram temple will be unconstitutional and everyone should await the Supreme Court decision. Congress recently also distanced itself from the remarks of its Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor who said no good Hindu would want a Ram temple in Ayodhya by destroying somebody else's place of worship.

Later, Tharoor said he made the remark in his "personal capacity" and was “misquoted” by the media.

'Temple in Pakistan?'

Congress MLA Roshan Baig, speaking elsewhere, said Muslims have no problem with the construction of a Ram temple and even quipped: "If Ram Mandir is not built in India, will it be in Pakistan?" He later clarified his remarks.

Even other Opposition parties, barring Left and BSP, have not made any categorical statement on the issue. On Thursday, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav stirred the hornet’s nest by saying Ram temple should be built at disputed site in Ayodhya.