Apologise or face legal action : BJP warns PM & Sonia

via HK published on September 17, 2007

NEWDELHI: The BJP today threatened legal action over the government’s affidavit on Ram Setu in case prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi did not apologise as demanded by the saffron party.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that it (the affidavit) was not an inadvertent omission but a deliberate and conscious act. An offence under Section 295 (a) of the Indian Penal Code, punishable by three years in jail for hurting religious beliefs, already stands committed,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

He pressed his party’s demand that both Singh and Gandhi apologise to the nation for the affidavit that said there was no historical evidence to establish existence of Lord Ram and other characters of the Ramayana. The affidavit has sicne been withdrawn.

“The competitive politics of blame game in the government underscores the critical demand for apology from the Congress chief and the prime minister,” he said.

The BJP leader also flayed Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi for his remark that there was no historical evidence to prove Lord Ram’s existence.

“I would like to ask him if he can make a similar statement about any other faith,” Prasad said.

The BJP, which is scheduled to hold its national executive meeting in Bhopal from September 21 to September 23 may come up with a separate resolution on Lord Ram, a party source said.

It will chalk out its political strategy for any mid-term election in the light of the row over the Ram Setu affidavit, the source added.

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