NIZAMABAD: Intent on taking the sting out of BJP’s call for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday described the saffron party’s obsession as one that was borne out of political greed.
Speaking at a public meeting here as part of his campaign for Lok Sabha elections, the Chief Minister said: “You are preoccupied with Ram Temple. Are you a political party or a party wedded to the cause propagating a religion? If you are a political party, your priority should be the welfare of the people,” he said.
Rao, covering a large gamut of issues that are afflicting the country, spoke for the first time on Ram Janmabhoomi issue in Nizamabad district where the population of Muslim minorities is quite substantial, in reply to a taunt from BJP State president K Laxman asking him to spell out his stand on Ayodhya.
“Why is this an issue for you. Why are you taking up Ram Janmabhoomi? What business do you have to decide the birth places of Rama, Krishna, or Kamsa, Duryodhana, Satyabhama and Surpanakha. Are these the issues that a Prime Minister of a country should address? Leave them to the religious heads. We have Sringeri Peethadihpati Jagadguru Shankaracharya, or Srimannarayana Jeer Swami or several other pontiffs. If there is a dispute, there are courts to settle them. Why are you worried?” he asked.
The Chief Minister also took a dig at the BJP’s claims that he was not a real Hindu. “In fact, yours is political Hindutva whereas ours is spiritual Hindutva and people’s Hindutva,” he said and pointed out that Hindus do not advertise that they are practitioners of Hinduism.
“We are Hindus to the core. We follow all religious customs and practices. We visit temples and have our heads tonsured. In every house, there would be an idol of a God or at least a calendar with the image of a God. We respect others but you, as practitioners of your brand of Hindutva, speak ill of people of other faiths,” he said, pointing out that the quintessence of Hindutva is tolerance and well being of people of all faiths.
The Chief Minister, touching on the great potential the country had to transform the lives of the people, came down heavily on the Congress and the BJP, for not tapping it.
He said it was distressing to see that of the 40 crore acres of land that is fit for cultivation, only five crore acres has canal irrigation facility though we have 70,000 tmcft of water. He said if poverty and squalor continue in the country it was because of lack of imagination of the rulers of the Congress and BJP, who always were involved in cheap politics instead of addressing the issues that affect people.
“The British legacy in administration is still continuing making both BJP and Congress incapable of thinking of different paradigms for improvement,” he said.
He also advocated a thorough overhaul of the Constitution so that most of the subjects are transferred to the states since it is they which are directly concerned with them. With the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution, several subjects which were in the State list were transferred to the concurrent list, he said and pointed out that RBI and the Navaratnas together have Rs 25 lakh crore money lying unused which could be put to better use.
Advocates overhaul of constitution
KCR also advocated a thorough overhaul of the Constitution so that most of the subjects are transferred to the States since it is they which are directly concerned with them. With the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution, several subjects which were in the State list were transferred to the concurrent list, he said.