The Congress Saturday accused RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat of raking up the Ram temple issue only to garner votes in favour of the BJP in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls and to divert public attention from the real issues concerning the country.
Speaking to reporters here, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the Ayodhya dispute, pending before the Supreme Court, must be decided by the apex court.
He also accused the RSS-BJP combine of fanning divisive issues to "vitiate the atmosphere", while the developmental issues were allegedly ignored. "People gave votes to (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi to run the country. Modi did not contest the election on this issue (Ram temple). Since the Gujarat election is there, it has been raised.
"The case is pending before the Supreme Court and all (parties to the dispute) are saying that the apex court should decide (on the matter) and that its decision will be followed by all," the Congress' deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha said.
He added that the issue was being raked up at a time when the government should answer the people of the country on job losses and the concerns related to the economy. "They (BJP) are running away from the real issues because they can't do anything else. Let the court decide it," Sharma said.
Addressing the "Dharma Sansad", a congregation of 2,000 Hindu seers, mutt heads and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders from across the country at Udipi in Karnataka yesterday, Bhagwat had said there should be no ambiguity that the Ram temple would be built at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. "We will construct it. It is not a populist declaration but a matter of our faith. It will not change," he had said.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief had said that after years of efforts and sacrifice, building the Ram temple seemed possible now, while also noting that the matter was in the court. The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases - on December 9 and 14. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.