NEW DELHI: Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday linked Congress leaders' protest in black clothes over the issues of price rise and unemployment to the party's "appeasement" politics to convey its opposition to the Ram temple foundation laying by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2020.
Speaking to reporters at Parliament house complex, Shah said everybody saw protests from Congress leaders of late in regular clothes they wore but they especially chose black clothes for Friday's agitation as Modi had peacefully resolved an over 550-year dispute involving the Ram Janmbhoomi in Ayodhya and performed its 'shilanyas' on this day.
The construction of the temple, central to the faith of crores of people, is now in full swing, he noted.
The issues of ED action and price rise are only excuses, Shah claimed, adding that the Congress has chosen to express its opposition to the foundation-laying ceremony and the ongoing construction of the temple by protesting in black clothes.
The Congress hit back saying only a "sick mind" can produce such bogus arguments and give a malicious twist to the protests.
"Home Minister has made a desperate attempt to divert, distract, polarise and give a malicious twist to today's democratic protests of @INCIndia against price rise,unemployment & GST. It's only a sick mind which can produce such bogus arguments. Clearly the protests have hit home!" party general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Shah claimed that as the Congress cannot dare speak openly against the issue, it has given a hidden message of its stand against the temple's foundation-stone laying as well as construction.
"I clearly believe that the Congress has chosen August 5 for its strong protests in black clothes to show its opposition over the temple issue," he said.
The real anguish of the Congress is the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and this is why it undertakes some protest on this day every year, Shah said.
With the Congress and protesting against the Enforcement Directorate action against its top leaders in the National Herald case, he said everyone should respect the legal system and follow and cooperate with judicial process.
The home minister said the Congress is not willing to drop its "appeasement politics" despite facing so many poll defeats.
He noted that the Congress had been protesting on the issues like the Enforcement Directorate action against its leaders and price rise since Parliament's monsoon session last month.
What was so special today, he asked, adding that there was no ED action on Friday.
"It was on this day Modi laid the foundation stone for the temple at Ram Janmbhoomi which is the centre of faith of crores of people. The dispute had remained unresolved for over 550 years, and the Congress which was in power for most of time since independence did nothing to resolve it. Modi worked to find a solution peacefully and laid the temple's foundations stone. It is that sacred day today," Shah said.
The politics of appeasement has harmed the country a lot since independence and all parties should leave it, he said.
Wearing black clothes, Congress leaders hit the streets to protest against price rise and unemployment with a host of them, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, being detained by police for nearly six hours.