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Minister rakes up Ram temple, article 370 during constitution debate


New Delhi: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot on Thursday said a Ram temple will be built at Ayodhya and raked up issues of abolition of article 370 and implementation of uniform civil code during a debate in the Lok Sabha.

Participating in the debate on the commitment to constitution, Gehlot accused the Congress of not giving the due to the constitution’s architect B.R. Ambedkar.

Referring to the “structure” in Ayodhya which was brought down by ‘kar sevaks’ in 1992, he said the then Congress central government not only worked to dismiss the Uttar Pradesh government but also BJP governments in other states and had “worked against the spirit of the constitution”.

Hundreds of frenzied ‘kar sevaks’ had brought down, in just six hours, all three domes of the ageing Babri mosque.

“There was a Ram temple (at Ayodhya). A Ram temple will be built there,” Gehlot said.

He contended that article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, discriminates with citizens from other parts of the country.

“Abolish article 370 at the earliest,” he said. BJP is in coalition government with People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to uniform civil code, an issue closely identified with the BJP, Gehlot said it should be implemented in the country.

Noting that the then Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had enacted a law to annul the Shah Bano judgment, he asked had not this been against the basic spirit of the constitution.

He also referred to internal emergency imposed during the Indira Gandhi government in 1975 and said it amounted to mockery of constitution.

Recalling the efforts of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and the present National Democratic Alliance government to perpetuate memory of Ambedkar, he said Congress governments had failed to take such initiatives.

Accusing the Congress of having tried to extend benefit of reservation to those among weaker sections who had converted to other religions, he said there was no provision in the constitution to give reservation on the basis of religion.

He alleged that “separatism” had grown in the country due to the Congress’ policies.

Members of Congress objected to Gehlot’s remarks pertaining to cause of assassination of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The chair said it will look into his remarks.

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