The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday drew a parallel between the row over the Sethusamudram shipping canal project and its Ram temple movement, saying it found similarity in the ruling Congress' response to the saffron objections in both the cases.
"A comparison can be there, it cannot be there. I see a comparison in terms of the government's response to both issues," said BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, whose party colleague Vijay Kumar Malhotra accused the Congress-led Centre of blasphemy because of its submission before the Supreme Court that there was no historical evidence to establish existence of Lord Ram.
With his party attacked on numerous occasions by the VHP for not keeping its election promise to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya while being in power, Prasad was defensive when asked whether the BJP would put realignment of the Palk Strait shipping canal project on its manifesto.
"It would be demeaning to make this an election issue," he said, but hastened to add that the party did pass a resolution opposing the Sethusamudram project in its present alignment at its national executive.
"We don't want to make it an election issue alone," he said.
Prasad, who condemned the government for its affidavit over Lord Ram and the Ramayana as a "classic patent example of appeasement of politics", wondered whether Prime minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] government can make a similar submission regarding other faiths.
"What rubbish! It's an insult to our cultural heritage and Hindu sentiments," he said.
He slammed the culture ministry for its submission that it has carried out no study on the Ram Sethu, an undersea bridge believed to be linked to the Ramayana.
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