BJP gets reality check on Ram Mandir hopes: Paswan says development, not temple, should be NDA’s core agenda

By: |
New Delhi | December 17, 2018 2:09 PM

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan has clarified that the decades-old Ram Mandir issue is an agenda of one political party and not the NDA or central government.

Ram Mandir ordinance Chirag PaswanRam Mandir issue

Ram Mandir issue: The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan has clarified that the decades-old Ram Mandir issue is an agenda of one political party and not the NDA or central government. Speaking to The Indian Express, LJP leader and Jamui MP Chirag Pawan suggested that the BJP stick to its development agenda in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls slated for early next year.

Chirag who is also the chairperson of the LJP parliamentary board said that the BJP which is the largest constituent of NDA, should not allow anyone to create a confusion by raising Ram Mandir construction and the caste of Bajrangbali (Lord Hanuman).

“We have clearly said in the NDA meeting on December 10 that we should stick to our development agenda,” he told the daily.

Without naming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had during an election rally said that Lord Hanuman was a Dalit, Chirag said, “Some people raising issues like the Ram temple and Bajrangbali (UP CM Yogi Adityanath had called Lord Hanuman a Dalit) only confuses people.”

“The temple can be the agenda of one party but not of the NDA or government,” he said, adding that let’s wait for the Supreme Court’s order on it.

“Our focus needs to be only on development. We know Ram temple has long been part of the BJP agenda but as an ally, we expect development to be the core NDA agenda,” he opined.

Ram Mandir ordinance unlikely: Chirag

When asked whether LJP will also oppose an ordinance, just like JD(U) has decided, if brought by the government to start the construction of Ram Mandir, Chirag said that his party will stand by any verdict given by Supreme Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi case.

Chirag noted that it is unlikely that the government will bring an ordinance on the matter.

“As for the ordinance, I do not see it coming. The BJP has not yet discussed this with alliance partners. I do not think the government will bring an ordinance on it,” he said.

Focus on farmers, youth: Chirag tells PM Modi

The LJP leader said that he has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on farmers an youth. He said that it was youth who voted overwhelmingly in 2014 general elections to make Narendra Modi as the country’s Prime Minister.

On farmers’, he said, “There has been some resentment among farmers. Though our government has done some good work for farmers, we have to review the issues of farmers.”

On BJP’s drubbing in three states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh), Chirag said that the saffron party required a shift in strategy but was no reason for disappointment. He said that the BJP got 0.1% more votes than the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and was only 0.5% less than Congress in Rajasthan.

“Chhattisgarh is surely a matter of concern but MP shows that despite triple anti-incumbency, the BJP still has a good hold in the state,” he said.

Chirag also said that RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha’s decision to quit the NDA will have no impact on the parties that are part of the dispensation. The LJP leader said that he had tried hard to hold Kushwaha but the RLSP leader was riding two boats for a long time.

“His (Kushwaha) exit will not hurt us,” he said.

Chirag also noted that the BJP, JD(U) and LJP are a formidable combination and in any case, ‘we should back our strength instead of talking about the Opposition’s strength’.

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