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In what may give the opposition parties fresh ammunition to target the saffron party in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday stirred a controversy with his remark that his party would unite the Hindu community by resolving the Ram Temple issue and divide the minorities in order to emerge victorious in the politically crucial state.
"Development is necessary to win election in the nation but it is not everything. To win the elections, it is important to focus on our priority. The conspiracy played against us in the past was to divide the Hindus and unite the minorities. But this time we will do just the opposite, we will unite the Hindus and will divide the minorities as much as possible," Swamy told ANI.
Highlighting the pro-development initiatives of former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao besides Congress veteran Morarji Desai, Swamy said that they failed to win the elections for their party despite all efforts.
Swamy said it is important to focus on three issues to win the elections that is corruption, development and the Ram Temple issue.
Early today, Swamy said the Ram Temple issue is part of the BJP's 2014 manifesto, adding it is the party's obligation to the people to deliver on this promise.
"The Ram issue is a part of our manifesto in 2014, how can we run away from it? We have to deliver," Swamy told ANI.
"The Congress has nothing to do with the BJP constructing a museum there (Ayodhya), or the Samajwadi party organising things for the Ramayana mela. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is selling the name of Ram in the wake of coming UP polls," said Congress leader D.P. Singh.
Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, on the other hand, asked the BJP-led Central government to intensify its efforts to construct Ram temple in Ayodhya instead of giving 'lollipop' (Ram museum) to please the people, who are demanding the construction of the temple.
"It's a big mistake; effort should be made to construct the Ram Mandir (temple); this "lolipapi" (handing over Ramayana Museum as lollipop to please the people who are demanding the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya) won't work. People ask when will be the Ram Temple constructed? This (Ramayana Museum) is a lollipop, it doesn't have much importance, and thus, they should make positive effort. I would have said this had I been there. It's good that I did not go there," Katiyar told ANI.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)