Rajat Sharma


rajat-sirAfter Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the formal invitation from Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to attend the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, slated for January 22, several Congress leaders have raised questions. Congress leader Salman Khurshid asked, “Is the invitation going to just one party? Is God now limited to one party? The invitation should be for everyone.” Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath said, “Ram temple belongs to every person in India and it is a great symbol of our Sanatan Dharma. Does the temple belong only to BJP?” Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Ram mandir has nothing to do with politics. Indians have been worshipping Lord Ram since thousands of years. Suddenly Modi Ji have become a Ram Bhakt and he is trying to divide people on the basis of religion”. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said, “there was no need to invite the Prime Minister. As PM, he would have definitely gone on his own. Thousands of kar sevaks sacrificed their lives for Ram Janmabhoomi. Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, VHP were there. Advani Ji took out rath yatra. Prime Minister will go there but I think this seems to be part of preparation for elections.” VHP president Alok Kumar reminded that it was Congress-led UPA government which had filed an affidavit in Supreme Court refusing to accept Lord Ram as part of Indian history and had described him as a mythological figure. Trust general secretary Champat Rai angrily said, “those organizing a son’s wedding will decide whom to invite and whom not to.” Nobody should be surprised over the demands of Congress leaders that they should also be invited to the ceremony. Congress leaders also allege that Modi is trying to make Ram temple an issue before the elections. Lord Ram belongs to each one of us, but Congress leaders have probably forgotten past history. Former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in order to appease Muslim voters, got Muslim Personal Law amended in Parliament to overturn Supreme Court verdict in Shah Bano case. It was his government, in order to appease Hindus, ordered opening up of the locked Ram Janmabhoomi for worship of Ram Lalla idol. Both these steps were part of electoral tactics. I still remember: Just before the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, V P Singh had tried to organize ‘shilanyas’ (foundation laying) of Ram Janmabhoomi temple by using the help of pro-Congress Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati. The Shankaracharya had already left for Ayodhya, but Mulayam Singh Yadav wanted to project himself as the champion of secularism. He ordered the arrest of Shankaracharya, to appease Muslim voters. Later in 1991, Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, in order to appease Muslim vote bank, ordered arrest of L K Advani in Samastipur to stop his Ayodhya-bound rath yatra. In the Supreme Court, Congress-led UPA government in 2007, filed an affidavit through Archaeological Survey of India in Ram Sethu case before the Supreme Court, in which it was said, “Valmiki Ramayana and Ramcharit Manas are mythological texts..which cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters”. After describing Lord Ram as a mythological character, it is now surprising that the leaders of the same party are eager to attend the consecration ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Already, there are media reports that a close associate of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has already made a recce of Ayodhya and has met religious leaders. Very soon, Rahul may visit Ayodhya to pay obeisance to Lord Ram. This indicates a big paradigm shift in the thought process of Congress leaders. There was a time when the same leaders used to avoid the very mention of Lord Ram, fearing backlash from Muslim voters. Times have now changed. Most of the mainstream parties are invoking the name of Lord Ram. Already opposition parties have begun to realize that the BJP is going to pull out all stops to make the Ram Temple consecration ceremony a grand success, and it can reap a rich electoral harvest. It is, in this context, that we hear leaders like Kamal Nath saying, ‘Ram Temple belongs not only to BJP, but to each and every Indian’. Times have really changed.


Parliament’s Ethics Committee on Thursday recorded the oral testimonies of complainants BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai in the “cash for question” allegations against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. The panel has now sought assistance from Home and Information Technology ministries for getting details about conversations between industrialist Darshan Hiranandani, Mahua Moitra and Dehadrai. The Trinamool MP has been summoned to record her testimony on October 31. If the panel finds concrete evidence of the industrialist Hiranandani, based in Dubai, using the login and password of Mahua Moitra in Parliament website for sending questions to Lok Sabha secretariat, she may land in big trouble and may lose her membership. Already, her party Trinamool Congress is now in a wait-and-watch mode. If Mahua loses her Lok Sabha membership, the party may also decide to expel her.
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