Congress attacks BJP over Ram Sethu rally

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New Delhi, Dec 31 (UNI) Accusing the BJP of remembering Lord Rama only when the elections come, the Congress Party today alleged that it was the BJP-led NDA government which had actively pursued the Sethusamudram canal project during 1999-2004.

Describing as ''hypocrisy and double standard'' the public rally organised by the Sangh Parivar yeterday in the capital city on the Ram Sethu issue, AICC Spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi said there was no basis in the allegation that the project would destroy the important element of India's cultural heritage and that it was the brain child of the UPA government.

''The sole objective of the BJP and its allies is to communalise and politicise the Ram Sethu issue and not to preserve the great legacy or heritage of Lord Ram.'' Listing out the various measures taken by the NDA government for the implementation of the Ram Sethu project during 1999-2004, Dr Singhvi said the BJP had not even mentioned the name of Ram Sethu but just passed on the orders, mentioning it as Adam's Bridge.

''Do this people have any fear of God when they lie through their teeth and try to befool the nation ?'' he asked.

In this context, he said ''anybody believing in God should first believe in morality and should know Lord Ram is not a political tool to be used during elections.'' Dr Singhvi said a sum of Rs 4.8 crore was earmarked in the 2000-01 budget under the NDA rule for the project. The project as formulated during the NDA regime was endorsed in the BJP's Election manifesto for 2004.

Asked if the Congress Party was in favour of the Sethusamudram project, Dr Singhvi said it was for the Supreme Court to take a decision as the issue was now before it. ''All technical materials have been placed before the apex court.'' He, however, said the Sethusamudram project envisaged the dredging of a limited portion of 300 mtrs wide channel across the Adam's Bridge which would affect a mere 300 mtrs out of nearly 30,000 metres and therefore, the project could not be considered as an act that would demolish the entire Adam's Bridge (Ram Sethu).

UNI

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