We won't allow demolition of Ram Setu: BJP

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Lucknow, Aug 3: BJP will not allow UPA government to demolish Ram Setu as it hurt Hindu sentiments, said BJP President, Rajnath Singh. Addressing a rally here on Saturday, Aug 2, Singh said that the State and Central Governments were pursuing the project without searching for any viable alternative. "The BJP, if voted to power, will review the project and implement it with an alternate route. We will not give up the project,"he added.

"A solution can be found without demolishing the Ram Setu but it looks that the state's ruling Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) and Central Government, which are allies are adamant on demolishing it at any cost. But we will not allow them," he added. On July 30, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it is seriously considering the possibility of pushing the Sethusamudram shipping canal project through an alternative alignment to avoid any damage to the Ram Setu.

Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman had told the bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan that he had received a letter from the Prime Minister on the suggestion put forward by the apex court on the issue of exploring the possibility of an alternative alignment between Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram Island.

Earlier, the Centre had filed a affidavit in the apex court on the project seeking vacation of its interim orders on putting on hold any damage to the ancient Ram Setu.

The 60-page affidavit, cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) that is chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the government respects all religions, but was of view that it should not be called upon to respond to issues of faith except in recognizing their existence.

The amended affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed after the Centre withdrew its two affidavits in which it had questioned the existence of Lord Ram and 'Ram Setu', in September.

Following an outcry led by the Sangh Parivar over the controversial affidavit, the apex court on September 14, 2007 had allowed the Centre re-examine the materials afresh to review the Rs 2,087 crore project.

However, it had continued the operation of its August 31 interim order restraining any damage to "Rama Setu" or Adams Bridge, a mythical bridge situated south-east off Rameshwaram, connecting the Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.

The court in its interim order had allowed the dredging activity for the project to the extent that it did not in anyway damage the 'Rama Setu' or Adams Bridge.

ANI

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