Ram Mandir construction has nothing to do with Hindutva: Joshi
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Monday said the party's stand to explore all possibilities within framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the 'Ram Mandir' in Ayodhya has nothing to do with Hindutva, and added that it is related to cultural development.
"This has nothing to do with Hindutva. This is simply a developmental programme, and also includes the issues that are culturally important, and therefore, has been enumerated in the manifesto. We have been saying this in our last manifesto as well, and our stand is the same," said Joshi.
"Hinduvata has never been an issue for elections. This is a manifesto based on governance and development of this country. As far as this issue is concerned, it is a cultural issue, and simply gives importance to that. But the major part of this manifesto will see development, governance, promotion of India's image outside and keeping India intact, as well as giving a proper leadership," he added.
Earlier in the day, the BJP released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections and reiterated its stand to explore all possibilities within framework of Constitution to facilitate construction of 'Ram Mandir' in Ayodhya.
Releasing the party manifesto, Joshi said: "Explore all possibilities within framework of constitution to facilitate construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya."
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, party president Rajnath Singh, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Ravishankar Prasad, Rama Lal, Thawarchand Gehlot and JP Nadda were also present on the dais.
The release of the BJP manifesto came on the day of the first phase of the nine phased- election that will the people of India elect 543 members of parliament to represent them in the 16th Lok Sabha. Monday's poll is being held in six constituencies in Assam and Tripura.
The Election Commission on Sunday made it clear that there is no bar on a party to release its manifesto on a poll day, but it cannot be publicised or telecast in areas where elections are being held.
(Posted on 07-04-2014)