INDIA Bloc Leaders Respond to PM Modi’s ‘Bulldoze Ram Mandir’ Comment

New Delhi: In a new controversy, the INDIA Bloc leaders have responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the Rahul-Akhilesh alliance in Uttar Pradesh would demolish the Ayodhya Ram temple if they come to power. On Saturday, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and other INDIA bloc leaders criticized PM Modi’s assertion and emphasized their commitment to protecting religious freedom for all citizens and ensuring governance according to the Constitution.

For context, PM Modi accused the opposition of planning to bulldoze the Ram Temple if elected to power on Saturday.

Kharge, Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray, and NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar held a press conference in Mumbai on the final day of campaigning for the last phase of the general elections in the state that is on May 20.

These leaders addressed questions about PM Modi’s accusation that the opposition bloc would demolish the Ram temple, reduce quotas for SC, ST, and OBC categories, and reinstate Article 370 if they came to power. Congress President Kharge accused PM Modi of stirring up public sentiment over issues “that the Congress would never pursue.”

INDIA Bloc’s Position on the Ram Temple

Thackeray stated that the INDIA bloc’s government would complete the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Pawar added that their government would protect all places of worship, not just temples. Kharge affirmed that constitutional reservations would remain intact.

“We have never used a bulldozer against anyone. Modi has a habit of lying and inciting people with false claims about Congress,” Kharge said.

When asked about his party’s stance on Article 370, Kharge said, “I am not accountable to Modi. We will implement our manifesto promises.” Criticizing the PM, he added, “Wherever he goes, he attempts to create division, speaks of dividing society.” Kharge pointed out that Modi boasts of providing 5 kg of free ration to 80 crore people.

“Our government enacted the Food Security Act, which mandates it. The Congress now pledges 10 kg of free ration,” he said.

Pawar noted that the previous government had implemented the Food Security Act, but now Modi is taking credit for providing a 5-kg free ration. Thackeray remarked that while the INDIA alliance has multiple potential prime ministers, the BJP has only one, who isn’t effective.

“Now, at the end of the campaign, they cannot replace their leader. We have a plan for when we achieve a majority,” he said.

Thackeray criticized the BJP and PM Modi for calling his party the “fake” Shiv Sena, suggesting the BJP might even call the RSS ‘fake.’

Referring to BJP chief J.P. Nadda’s interview, in which he said that BJP operates independently while RSS is an ideological entity, Thackeray said, “BJP wants to detach from the organization that created it.”

He predicted the end of the “jumla era” on June 4 and the arrival of “achhe din” (good days) with the INDIA alliance in power. He accused the BJP-led government of misusing central agencies and vowed that an INDIA alliance government would restore Mumbai and Maharashtra’s glory.

Kharge accused PM Modi of campaigning for a state government formed by betrayal.

“In my 53 years in politics, I have never seen a Prime Minister who started the division. Modi uses threats, blackmail, and bribes to break opposition parties, but people will reject him,” he said, predicting the opposition alliance would win 46 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

INDIA Bloc’s GST Simplification Promise

“We will simplify GST. The people of India have hope in the INDIA alliance,” Kharge said. Thackeray criticized the BJP for mocking him for using the term ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot) instead of Hindu.

“Aren’t Hindus patriots? Those opposing the term deshbhakt are anti-national,” he said.

“Pakistan occupies the BJP’s mind. Modi likely still enjoys former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s birthday cake. Modi frequently mentions Pakistan. I have never seen Pakistani flags at my rallies,” he said, alleging false narratives to distract from key issues.

Regarding upcoming state elections, Thackeray promised a vigorous, united campaign and predicted victory. If BJP claims Congress will bulldoze Ram mandir, they might also say Congress would ban RSS, Thackeray joked.

“We have never used a bulldozer against anyone. Bulldozers are used by their government. This comment is inflammatory, and the Election Commission should act against it. Our government will adhere to the Constitution and protect everything,” Kharge said.

Mamata Banerjee’s Stance on INDIA Bloc

When asked about Mamata Banerjee’s support for the INDIA alliance and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary’s skepticism, Kharge said, “Mamata Banerjee is with the alliance. She has recently expressed her support. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary does not make the final decision; I do, along with the high command.”

“Modi’s speeches are divisive and provocative. I have never seen such a PM,” Kharge said.

He also criticized Modi for labeling the Congress manifesto as Maoist. “Who is advising you, Modiji? This is laughable. You can’t fool people every time,” he said.

Shruti Suman

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