New Delhi, May 5 IBNS | 3 months ago

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for campaigning with an image of Lord Rama in the backdrop in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh.



"Putting pictures of lord Ram behind you is questionable. I leave it to the Election Commission to take a decision," he told CNN-IBN channel.

"Not the words alone, but the context and what comes before and after the speech is crucial," Khurshid said.

Amid chanting of Jai Shree Ram slogan and with an image of Lord Rama in the backdrop, Narendra Modi on Monday campaigned from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh seeking support for party symbol lotus but at the same time courted controversy with the Election Commission by using a religious symbol.

Reports said EC has sought a report on the use of religious symbol.

Modi referring to Gandhiji said the best rule is the rule of Lord Rama or a Ram Rajya, but immediately created a row since no religious symbols can be used in political rallies as per the Election Commission (EC) strictures.

"I promise on this land of Lord Ram that I will fight corruption all my life. I want a Lotus from this land of Shri Ram," said Modi as he used the name of Lord Rama with an image of the Hindu god at the backdrop.

Opposition parties hit back over his reference to Rama. Congress leader and union minister Kapil Sibal said the BJP uses religion whenever it is required for votes.

Faizabad is close to Ayodha and is a twin city of the latter. Ayodhya, considered the birthplace of Lord Rama and where the disputed Babri structure was demolished by Hindu kar sevaks in Dec 1992, is only 5 km away.

(Posted on 05-05-2014)