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Ram Temple not an election issue: Vajpayee
February 23, 2004 15:44 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday said construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya will not be an election issue and hoped that efforts made in resolving it would succeed.
"It is linked to people's emotion. We should resolve it. I hope efforts in this direction will succeed," Vajpayee said.
Asked if temple construction would form part of the BJP manifesto, Vajpayee, flanked by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and Union Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh, said, "When the manifesto comes out, it will be before you."
On how much BJP has gained with the return of Kalyan Singh to the party fold, Vajpayee said, "It has definitely helped and the party will make full use of it."
The prime minister parried a question on the remarks of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal that the 'feel good' factor was restricted to English-speaking people and had not benefited commoners. "I have nothing to say on it," he said.
Vajpayee also said that India has taken 'serious' note of the clandestine export of nuclear technology from Pakistan and was confident that under the supervision of the United Nations, a system will be evolved to check such proliferation.
"On the one side, non-proliferation talks are going on. On the other, clandestinely transfer of nuclear technology to other countries has taken place. We have taken serious note of it," he said. "We are taking all steps necessary to safeguard the country's security."
"We are confident that under the UN supervision, a system will be successfully evolved to ensure that there is no room for such proliferation," he added.