BJP demands ban on Periyar 'Sachchi Ramayana'

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Lucknow, Oct 25 (UNI) The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party today demanded a ban on Periyar E V Ramaswamy's 'sachchi Ramayana' charging it with being against the popular Indian sentiments.

BJP legislature party leader Om Prakash Singh said here that the book's Hindi translation 'sachchi Ramayana', was being sold at the book stalls of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). ''We did know that the book carried derogatory remarks against Lord Ram...the recent Hindi translation is available with us which has clarified our fears,'' he said.

He claimed that the BJP would raise the issue during the forthcoming winter session of the state legislature. ''We have sent portions of the objectionable material to all MLAs, MLCs and leaders of various political parties so that they are aware of the issue ahead of the assembly session,'' he said. The BJP has also written a letter to Chief Minister and BSP president Mayawati on the contents of the book.

''It is not a political issue but a matter of our faith.

Therefore, we do want any 'hungama' (commotion) in the Assembly or the Upper House but a constructive and conclusive debate,'' he added.

Attacking the BSP, the BJP leader asked the former to clarify whether it believed in the existence of Lord Ram and Krishna or supported the views of Periyar. ''Periyar went to jail for his tirade against Hindi...UP is the mother of Hindi. We now want to know the BSP's stand on the issue,'' he added.

Coming down heavily on the BJP yesterday by dubbing it a 'communal party', UP Chief Minister Mayawati had reacted sharply to the former's objection to the installation of a statue of Dalit icon Swami Periyar saying her government always respected the sentiments of 'sarva samaj' before installing any statue. ''In fact, the intelligence reports are taken into cognisance before installation of a statue of any saint, god or goddess and great personalities,'' she said.

Ms Mayawati, who has been under fire from opposition camps for installing several statues of Dalit icons all over the state, made it clear that she would take into account the feelings of all the sections while in the process of installing statues of great personalities.

UNI

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