CPM lambasts BJP for communal propaganda

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New Delhi, Sep 14: While appreciating the Centre's move to withdraw the controversial affidavit, the CPI(M) today severely criticised the BJP for opposing the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) on religious grounds, saying it smacked of the saffron party's ''bankrupt communal'' politics.

''...it was the BJP government under Shri Vajpayee's leadership which had sanctioned the project in the first place. To oppose it now on religious grounds is sheer hypocrisy on the part of the BJP,'' the CPM Polit Bureau said in a statement.

It said the BJP's efforts to play up the Ramsethu issue was ''nothing but bankrupt politics'', which once again confirmed that the saffron party'' has no constructive agenda to offer.'' The CPM said the Centre had taken an appropriate decision to withdraw certain paragraphs in the affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the Supreme Court in the Sethusamudram case that were considered extraneous to the matter.

It, however, reiterated that ''there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that a manmade structure, the Adam's Bridge (or the Ramsethu) exists in the Palk Straits. What exists are natural formations.'' Earlier in the day, the UPA government withdrew from the Supreme Court its controversial affidavit questioning the historical existence of characters and events depicted in the Holy Ramayana.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted before the court that the government had no intention of hurting the religious sentiments of any community and had decided to withdraw the affidavit after taking note of the wide-ranging sentiments of the people and would be filing a fresh affidavit.

The apex court granted three months to the Central Government to re-examine the whole issue before filing a fresh affidavit and adjourned the hearing till the first week of January next year.


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