Ram Setu affidavit is price for DMK’s support: BJP

July 24th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for a controversial affidavit on the Ram Setu in the Supreme Court, terming it the price the ruling coalition paid for the DMK’s support. The BJP added sarcastically that, with the affidavit filed Wednesday, the UPA had at least accepted the existence of Hindu god Ram and Ram Setu, also known as the Adam’s Bridge.

“Earlier, the DMK questioned the ‘engineering credentials’ of Lord Ram, asking which engineering college he graduated from, and contended that it (Ram Setu) was a natural formation. Now the government has at least admitted the bridge was built by a superman just to insult Lord Rama and his followers,” spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

Opposing several lawsuits that seek the shipping canal project stopped as it involved dredging through the Ram Setu, government counsel Fali S. Nariman Wednesday told a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that the Ram Setu “cannot be worshipped” since it was broken by Lord Ram himself.

“The UPA was paying the price for DMK’s support it to remain in power,” Rudy said referring to the trust vote the government won in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

The Ram Setu is a 48-km long chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Mannar in Sri Lanka’s northwest. Many Hindus believe it was the bridge Lord Ram’s army built to cross over to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita.

The ambitious Setusamudram project, to create a navigable waterway between India’s southern tip and Sri Lanka, would involve dredging a part of the Ram Setu.

The Manmohan Singh government, forced to seek the confidence of parliament after the Left parties withdrew its support, won the trust vote by a comfortable margin due to cross voting and abstentions of the sitting MPs.

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