‘Affidavit a bid to hurt people’s sentiments’
RAJKOT: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is clinging on to the “Ramar Sethu” issue to whip up the “Hindutva” passion to the run up to the Assembly elections later this year.
Addressing meetings at Hadala town in Rajkot district and earlier at the Tarnetar fair in Surendranagar district, Mr. Modi likened the Congress to “Ravana” saying that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was trying to fulfil the “wishes” of Ravana. He said Ravana never wanted Lord Ram to build the bridge and attack Lanka to rescue Sita, and the Congress government was now planning to destroy the “Ramar Sethu” to fulfil Ravana’s wishes.
During the last three days ever since the Ramar Sethu controversy broke out following the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue, Mr. Modi did not let go any opportunity to raise the issue to re-establish his diminishing image as the Hindutva leader even after the Centre decided to amend its stand to honour the religious sentiments of the Hindus.
Mr. Modi said Lord Ram was a matter of faith for the Hindus and the Government’s affidavit strongly hurt the religious sentiments of the people. “The Hindus in the country will never forgive those who are raising questions on the existence of Lord Ram,” he said.
Mr. Modi declined to believe that the first affidavit questioning the existence of Ram for not having any “historical proofs” was an unwarranted mistake as claimed by the Centre later, but said it was a “deliberate” attempt to hurt the sentiments of the people and strengthen its minority vote bank. “The people in the country will never tolerate a party that questions the existence of their idol and hurt their religious sentiments,” he said.
In an indirect attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Modi asked the audience present to raise “Jai Shri Ram” slogan so loudly that “its echo is heard even in Italy.”
Mr. Modi said he was all for the country’s development and would be ready to coo-operate and support for any such projects and programmes, but they should never be at the cost of the country’s rich heritage and cultural bonds. There was no need for a project if it meant destroying the rich heritage of “Ramar Sethu.”