Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Saturday joined the party’s attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his recent visits to temples in Gujarat and asked whether Rahul also believes in Ram.
Lekhi said, “The janaeudhari Brahmin also claims to be a Shiv bhakt. In that case, he must come clean with his view on Ram, since his government had stated that Ram never existed. Legend has it that Ram, also a Shiv bhakt, prayed Shiv before the construction of the same Ram Setu that the UPA government claimed never existed. So if he (Rahul) makes his views on Lord Ram clear, it will be additional knowledge for us.”
As per Hindu mythology, the ‘bridge’ between Sri Lanka and India was constructed by Hindu deity Ram, who ordered his army of Monkeys to do so by using floating rocks. According to the mythology, Ram wanted to cross the ocean into Sri Lanka, to get back his wife Sita, who was kidnapped by Lankan king Ravana.
In 2007, the UPA government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in a matter pertaining to the Ram Setu Samudram Shipping Canal Project.
The Archaeological Survey of India had rejected claims that the bridge was an integral part of Hindu mythology, and stated that there was no evidence to prove the existence of Lord Ram.
Later, the UPA government had withdrawn the remarks on Ram’s existence and filed a fresh affidavit before the Supreme Court.
Lekhi, who was in Vadodara as part of the BJP’s election campaign, called Rahul “janaeudhari (sacred thread-wearing) Brahmin” and said that he is the “first Brahmin who I have seen wearing janaeu over his clothes”.
Earlier, Gujarat unit of the Congress had posted a photo of Rahul on its Twitter handle, where his janaeu was visible over his clothes. The photos are from his sister Priyanka Gandhi’s wedding and his father late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s funeral.
Lekhi said, “We would also like to know what he thinks of the Ram Mandir issue. And while we are at it, he should also state his views on the 2002 carnage in Godhra, in which several karsevaks were killed.”