Ram Mandir bhumi pujan: Pinarayi Vijayan says Congress toeing ‘soft-Hindutva’ line, has no clear stand on secularism

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Updated: August 06, 2020 9:33 AM

The Left parties had earlier lodged a strong protest against the live telecast of the Ram Mandir bhumi pujan on Doordarshan.

ram mandir bhumi pujan, congress on ram mandirRam Mandir bhumi pujan: Pinarayi Vijayan accuses Congress of soft-Hindutva line.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has accused the Congress of toeing a ‘soft-Hindutva line’ and said that the party lacks a clear stand on secularism. Lashing out at the party over its position on the Ram Mandir bhumi pujan that was held on August 5 in Ayodhya, Vijayan said that the grand old party was in power when worship inside the Babri Masjid, now demolished, was allowed.

“Everyone knows the stand adopted by the Congress. The approaches of (former Prime Ministers) Rajiv Gandhi and (PV) Narasimha Rao are part of history,” he told reporters.

“Worship inside Babri Masjid was permitted under a Congress government at the Centre; and a Congress government was at the helm in New Delhi when shilanyas for the temple was allowed,” the CPI-M leader said.

Vijayan also referred to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s comments on the Ram Mandir bhumi pujan and said there was little surprise in the statement of the Congress leader that the Ram Mandir bhumi pujan should be seen as a celebration of national unity, fraternity and cultural affinity.

“If the Congress had a clear stand on secularism, the country would not have faced the present fate. I don’t find anything new in the approach of Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi,” he said.

The Kerala CM further said that the Congress government had stood inactive when kar sevaks went to Ayodhya to demolish Babri Masjid.

“What later happened is the culmination of this approach,” he said.

When asked to comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing the bhumi pujan to begin the construction of a grand Ram Mandir at the same site where Babri Masjid was once stood, Vijayan said, “Kerala is now worried about overcoming the coronavirus challenge and would worry about such things later.”

He said that Covid-19 cases in the country have crossed 19 lakh and “we should think about overcoming this situation”.

“There are people in the country who are in poverty due to the pandemic and relief should be delivered to them. Kerala government is adopting actions towards that,” he said.

The Left parties earlier lodged a strong protest against the live telecast of the bhumi pujan on Doordarshan. The parties had written to the Information and Broadcast (I&B) Ministry demanding not to telecast the ceremony live on the national broadcaster, arguing it was against the accepted norms of national integrity.

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