Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Thursday taunted the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that Lord Rama won't help the saffron party win elections.
"It's not a question of temples or mosques or gurudwaras. It's a question of the nation. This nation has all these religions and all these religions have a place here."
His comments came after BJP Rajya Sabha Member Rakesh Sinha on Thursday said he would bring a Private Member Bill on Ram temple in Ayodhya in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
"They're going to lose the elections because they think Ram will win them the elections. It's the people who vote. Ram does not vote," Abdullah told reporters here.
Five states -- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, and Telangana -- go to Assembly polls this year, before India holds a general election in 2019.
He said that the BJP was running away from issues facing the people of the country, including rising prices of petrol and a weakening currency.
"...where are the 15 lakh rupees which they promised, look at the prices of petrol, look at rupee... dollar is worth Rs 74 now.
"These are all to create hatred in people. India does not need hatred. India needs to understand that we all have to live together... whatever your religion. We all want to live with honour. It's the honour we are fighting for," he said.
Earlier in the day, Rakesh Sinha announced his intention to bring a Private Member Bill on the issue of Ram temple, and dared the opposition leaders to support him.
"Will Rahul Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury, Lalu Prasad, Mayawati support the private member bill on Ayodhya? They frequently ask the date (as to when construction of Ram temple will start). Now the onus is on them," Sinha said in a tweet.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)