BJP toughens stand on Ramsethu issue

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) In a spirited assertion of its stand on the Ramsethu, the BJP today said that it would stoutly resist any attempt at demolition of the ancient bridge which was ''inextricably linked with people's faith''.

''We will not allow anyone to demolish it (Ramsethu) at any cost as it is a symbol of people's faith,'' BJP President Rajnath Singh said, while participating in the debate in Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.

Mr Singh said the government had done the right thing by withdrawing from the court its original affidavit, which had raised a question mark on the very existence of Lord Ram.

''However, the second affidavit filed in the court is only a shade better as it does not question the people's faith. At the same time, it has asked the court to vacate its stay on the resumption of work on the Ramsethu, which is unacceptable to the BJP,'' he said in his over an hour-long speech, which was intently heard by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other members of the House.

The BJP chief also hinted at waging a no-holds-barred campaign against it, if the government went ahead with its plans to demolish the bridge.

In support of his contention, Mr Singh cited the example of Mahatma Gandhi repeatedly. ''If Ram is not a truth, why did Mahatma Gandhi propound the concept of 'Ram Rajya'? And if Ram is not a truth, why 'Hey Ram' were his last words after he suffered bullet wounds on his chest?'' he asked.

In a lighter vein, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said had Ram not been there, the name of 'Sitaram' would possibly not have existed, directing his remark at CPM leader Sitaram Yechury.

Not to be outdone, Mr Yechury quipped: ''There is also Nathuram (Godse).'' Mr Singh later asserted that the BJP's politics was not only for forming government but also for building society. ''We will support only positive steps of the government and our opposition to negative ones will be total and unqualified,'' he said.


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