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Tipu Sultan to Hey Ram! Cong opened mandir in Babri for Puja, says Karnataka leader ahead of polls

Just days after senior leader Tanveer Sait proposed a statue of Tipu Sultan in Mysuru, the Congress appears to be embracing the suave Hindutva.

Senior Congress leader Basavaraj Rayareddy has claimed that it was the Congress that opened the doors of Ram Mandir in the Babri Masjid. The former minister said Rajiv Gandhi played an important role in performing the puja at the sanctum sanctorum.

The leader further argued that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hiding this fact to take all the credit for the construction of Ram Mandir.

“They (BJP) claim that they are building Ram Mandir. I should clarify that it was Congress Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who opened the doors of Ram Mandir sanctum sanctorum. I repeat, the Ram Mandir which was in Babri Masjid, it was the Congress that made possible the puja in that place by opening the doors. That is the history of the Congress party. They have hidden this fact,” Rayareddy said.

DAMAGE CONTROL?

The statement comes at a time when many within the party fear the Congress will lose Hindu votes over the Tipu statue controversy. The BJP claims it is being done in view of next year’s parliamentary elections.

“Why didn’t they take the initiative to tear down the mosque and restore the temple? Now they want to take credit because Prime Minister Modi is building the temple and it is getting attention from all over the world,” argued BJP leader Pramila Nesargi.

The Congress argued that the PV Narasimha Rao government ensured a fair legal process by protecting the then-disputed site.

READ ALSO | Legend of Tipu Sultan and struggle to keep him in textbooks, learn in #ClassesWithNews18

“Rao passed the 1992 Acquisition of Certain Territories Act to preserve territories that required judicial adjudication. The Congressional administration has enabled a fair assessment. Suddenly the BJP is claiming that it is playing an important role in building Ayodhya which is not correct. The Congress has contributed to judicial adjudication,” said Sanket Yenagi, general secretary of the Karnataka Congress.

With the BJP and Congress likely to intensify their campaign for the 2023 elections in the coming months, Tipu and Ram are likely to dominate the political discourse in Karnataka.

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