NCP hits out at BJP for using Ram temple dispute to overshadow lack of jobs, drought
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar Monday said the Ram temple issue is being raked up in a bid to divert the attention of people from raging issues like lack of jobs and drought.
Pawar also launched a veiled attack on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath over his announcement to construct a grand statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. "There is an attempt to divert the attention of people from raging issues. Several districts in Maharashtra are currently facing a severe drought. There is a scarcity of water, food and fodder for livestock," Pawar said after unveiling a 'constitution obelisk' here to mark the Constitution Day.
The concept to build such obelisks is the brainchild of Supriya Sule, who represents Baramati Lok Sabha seat in Pune district. Sule is the daughter of Pawar.
Pawar said the people of the country wanted employment, but are not receiving any help. "People are in distress and are looking for jobs but instead of lending them a helping hand, the issue of Ram temple is being raked up by some people," the former Union minister said. Pawar said he didn't want to get into the issue of construction of a Ram temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya.
"These people are free to do whatever they want to do, but the fact is that the attention of the entire country is being diverted from raging issues. I personally feel that something wrong is happening," he said. Without mentioning Yogi Adityanath, Pawar said a chief minister of a state is talking about building a statue of a particular height. "I have no issues, you can do that, but one should think whether a statue of a particular height is important or solving the issues of people who are in distress is important," he asked.
The Maratha strongman said the values enshrined in the Constitution is very strong and can withstand any attempt to alter them. "If there is an attempt to attack the Constitution, the people will not accept it," he said. "A Union minister recently said publicly that they have come here to change the Constitution. He also said that they want to amend the Constitution," the NCP chief said in an apparent reference to the statements made last December by BJP leader and Union minister Anantkumar Hegde.
He said the real motive of such people is to "impose curbs" on the fundamental rights promised in the Constitution and to help a handful of people to concentrate power.
"However, the country will not fall prey to such tactics and will always oppose it," Pawar said. He said India, despite its huge diversity, remained united because of the Constitution. "If the history of countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka is observed, one will find that some of them were under Army rule while some faced dictatorship, while in some the democratic system was under threat," he said.
He said India remained united because it followed the directive principles mentioned in the Constitution. Various Hindutva organisations in the country have stepped up their demand for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and have appealed to the Narendra Modi government to either bring an ordinance or a legislation to facilitate the construction.
(With inputs from agencies.)