Raking up the Ram temple issue, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on Saturday asked partymen not to be apologetic for the Ayodhya movement and instead take pride in it.
Advani also referred to Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's recent words of praise for him, which had surprised many, and said that people should not hesitate to speak the "right thing" as "the world will accept it".
"When people believe and talk of our Ayodhya issue and agitate over it, you should not be apologetic over it, ever. You should take pride in it," Advani told partymen.
In his speech at the BJP headquarters on the party's Foundation Day in New Delhi, Advani said he felt pride in admitting that his party raised the issue of Ram temple and Ayodhya as it was not just a political movement but also a cultural one.
"People say that the BJP and Bharatiya Jana Sangh achieved this position by raising issues like Ayodhya and Ram temple. I feel proud in admitting this and say that ours is not just a political movement but also a cultural movement," he said.
Referring to the SP chief, he said, "Recently, when people heard Mulayam Singh ji praising me, they thought what is he saying and doing? I feel if you speak the right thing, the world will accept it. You should not hesitate. Don't ever let that inferiority complex come inside you."
The SP supremo, when asked about his praise of Advani, had said that those leaders who had done good, or are doing so should be appreciated. His comments have sparked speculation of the two parties cosying up in the run up to general elections next year.
Advani said he has no objection to those who believe that the BJP gained support by raising the Ayodhya and Ram temple issue alone, but added that he could not complete the Ayodhya Yatra as he was arrested before reaching Ayodhya.