NEW DELHI: BJP President Amit Shah's outburst over the Sabarimala temple issue "must be seen as a direct challenge to the Constitution and the Supreme Court", the CPI-M has said.
"The significance of his remarks lay in his peremptory tone of intimidation and a veiled threat to the judiciary," said an editorial in the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy".
During a visit to Kannur in Kerala, Shah declared: "I want to tell the (state) government and those who pronounce orders in court that you should issue orders that can be implemented, not the ones that break the faith of the people."
He also threatened to pull down the Kerala government if it persisted in implementing the Supreme Court verdict.
The editorial said that Shah's remarks were an illustration of the RSS and the BJP's outlook that the Constitution and its institutions must be subordinate to the goal of a Hindu Rashtra.
It noted that Amit Shah's pronouncement came three days before the Supreme Court hearing on the appeals on the Ayodhya judgement of the Allahabad High Court.
"The speech can be seen as a warning to the Supreme Court that only such a verdict on Ayodhya would be acceptable which is implementable (in the opinion of the BJP-RSS) and that which does not 'break the faith of the people'."
On October 29, the Supreme Court stated that there was no urgency to hear the petitions on the Ayodhya row and said the bench to be set up for hearing the case would decide in January the dates for the hearing to begin.
This led to calls from the BJP and RSS for an ordinance for early construction of a grand Ram temple at the Ayodhya site where the Babri Masjid was razed in 1992.
"The Modi government is in no position to pass an ordinance or to bring any legislation on the Ayodhya issue as the dispute is being dealt with by the judicial process and has now reached the Supreme Court," the editorial said.
"There is no way the government, or, the ruling party can circumvent this process.
"But for the RSS and the BJP, Ram temple has to be made into a burning issue in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election. That is why the orchestrated attempts to bring the temple issue to the fore will continue."