Rajnath says temple not poll, political issue, agenda progress


A day after endorsing party general secretary Amit Shah's views on construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, BJP president Rajnath Singh Sunday said Hindutva "was never the political agenda" of the BJP and that "Ram temple would not be an electoral nor a political issue" for the party in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP would go into 2014 elections with the agenda of development and progress, Rajnath said.

He was in Amritsar to attend a meeting of the Punjab BJP executive committee. The two-day meeting began Sunday.

Responding to questions regarding Shah's comments in Ayodhya, Rajnath said, "The issue (construction of a temple) should not be politicised." It is a "national issue".

The BJP chief also invoked a Supreme Court "definition" to state that Hindutva was a way of life. "Religion cannot be made a political agenda," he added. "Hindutva cannot be limited to any caste, sect or religious boundary."

Rajnath also reiterated that as per his information, Shah had just expressed his "wish" for construction of a grand Ram temple at the site claimed to be his birthplace. He had not tried to make the issue a political or electoral one, the BJP chief said, adding a Hindu would obviously want a temple, a Muslim a mosque, a Christian a church and a Sikh a gurdwara.

Speaking in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, Shah however reiterated that the BJP would win the Lok Sabha elections with the agenda of Hindutva and its ideology of "rashtrawad (nationalism)". Addressing party workers, he said they should tell the masses that the BJP has not deviated from these ideologies.

Shah also told BJP workers to oppose the Samajwadi Party government's move to withdraw cases against terror accused.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.