“Is Ram Temple Also A Jumla For You?” Shiv Sena Targets BJP

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Shiv Sena, the most vocal critic-ally of the BJP, has once again slammed the party on the Ram temple issue, the latest law on quota for economically weaker upper caste, and the "empty promises".

Taking potshots at the BJP on the issue of Ram Mandir, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, "Rs 15 lakh in people's accounts was a 'jumla' (false promise), acche din is a jumla and now Ram Mandir is also a jumla. If the Ram temple is also a jumla for you, how can you expect people to trust you?" he said.

Mr Thackeray added that his party raised the Ram temple issue before elections to "expose" those who used the issue as a poll plank and warned that his party will not allow any "jumlas" (rhetoric) in the name of Lord Ram or any other Hindu god. The Shiv Sena will expose such "jumlas" in Maharashtra, he added.

The Sena leader also wondered how the BJP was planning to build the Ram temple when allies like Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan are "opposed to it".

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Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have maintained that the Ram temple issue should be resolved either through a court judgment or mutual agreement among different groups.

The title suit of the disputed site in Ayodhya is pending in the Supreme Court. But the right-wing groups as well as a section of the BJP and allies like the Shiv Sena, have been demanding an ordinance or executive order on the issue.

Mr Thackeray also criticised the 10 per cent reservation quote for the upper caste poor and said if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government actually wants to help the weaker sections of the society, they should exempt tax for income groups of less than Rs 8 lakh.

"If you really want to help the economically-weaker sections, why don't you exempt those below Rs 8 lakhs per annum income from paying taxes? You have provided reservations, but have you calculated or considered the actual way of implementing reservations?" he said.

Hitting out at BJP chief Amit Shah for his remarks that the party will thrash former allies if a pre-poll alliance did not materialise, Mr Thackeray said that one who will defeat the Sena was yet to be born. Mr Thackeray had last year said that his party intends to go solo in the Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a rally in Worli today, the Shiv Sena leader said, "I have heard words like ''patak denge'' from someone. The one who will trounce the Shiv Sena is yet to be born."

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