Leader of Opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani has demanded an apology from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of the government of India by the Archeological Survey of India, which said there was no historical evidence that Lord Ram ever existed.
"The prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi should apologise for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus living in India and abroad. The government must immediately withdraw the affidavit it has filed in the Supreme Court," Advani said at a press conference in New Delhi at the party headquarters on Thursday.
Prior to holding the briefing, Bal Apte, vice president of the party, called a meeting of the office-bearers of the party to discuss the statement about Lord Ram in the absence of party chief Rajnath Singh, who is in Tripura and hence could not attend the meeting.
"I had a conversation with him on phone and he said this was a serious issue so a meeting of the office bearers should be held," Advani explained.
"It is blaphemous and arrogant at worst, and insensitive and reckless at best, for a government claiming to be secular to trash the deepest and noblest sensibilities of the Hindus. In one stroke of its legal pen, the government has sought to negate all that the Hindus consider sacred in their faith," Advani said.
This issue is likely to dominate the BJP national executive to be held from September 21 to 23 to be held in Bhopal later this month.
"We have no doubt that elections would be held earlier than 2009. We have told everyone to be in election mode," he said.
Jaswant Singh, Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Bal Apte were with him on the dias.
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