Terrorism, not Ram temple, is key election issue, says BJP

February 9th, 2009 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) A day after its prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani broached the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday said this was not the party’s Lok Sabha election theme and that terrorism would remain the key issue.

Party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told IANS that the Ram temple would be constructed in Ayodhya when the BJP comes to power on its own.

“Security of the nation is the central theme, besides the Congress government’s failure on governance,” Rudy said.

“It (Ram temple) is not an issue of the National Democratic Alliance (which the party heads). We had said this during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections also,” Rudy added.

Naqvi said: “Advaniji meant to say that the party has not forgotten the Ram temple and this does not mean it will be an election issue.”

Advani stated at the party’s national council meeting in Nagpur Sunday that the BJP had not forgotten Lord Ram and the party would hail him whenever a temple is constructed in Ayodhya.

“Be it Ram Setu or Ram temple (in Ayodhya), we have never abandoned Ram,” Advani said. The true victory of Ram would be when a “magnificent temple” is constructed in Ayodhya, he said.

Radical Hindu mobs brought down the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh Dec 6, 1992, claiming it was built at the site of Lord Ram’s birthplace.

BJP sources, meanwhile, said Advani made this remark essentially to keep the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) - BJP’s is considered its political wing - in good humour.

The RSS leaders had at a meeting at the residence of Advani last month expressed concern over the party losing its ideological moorings, sources claimed.

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