Will Ayodhya Ram Temple Help Polarise Votes For BJP; Here

Panaji: Former Union minister Ramakant Khalap has claimed that though the Congress has only one MLA in the North Goa parliamentary constituency, the party has a huge following in the region.

Published: February 28, 2024 4:08 PM IST

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Will Ayodhya Ram Temple Help Polarise Votes For BJP; Here's What Ex-Union Minister Khalap Panaj Says

Ayodhya: Congress leader and former Union minister Ramakant Khalap said on Wednesday that the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya will not help in the polarisation of votes for the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Talking to news agency PTI, Khalap said the Congress is the oldest party and has acceptance across different sections of the people. It is “perfectly possible” for his party to win both the North and South Goa Lok Sabha seats in the coastal state, Khalap said, adding that he aspires to contest from the North Goa seat on a Congress ticket.

Though the Congress has only one MLA under the North Goa parliamentary constituency, the party has a huge following in the region, he claimed.

The 76-year old leader had served as law minister in the central cabinet led by Deve Gowda. He had moved the women’s reservation bill during his tenure as the Union law minister (in 1996–97).
Khalap, who was earlier with the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), is currently with the Congress.

In response to a question pertaining to the consecration of Lord Ram’s idol at the Ayodhya temple last month, Khalap said it is a wrong notion that there will be polarisation of votes against the Congress.
“When someone utters Jai Shri Ram in front of me, I reciprocate with the greeting Jai Shri Ram. Shri Ram is the universal God,” he said.

Khalap said that “Ram bhakts” do not belong to any single political party. The Congress leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “definitely a factor in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.” “But he is not the lone factor. There are other factors that will also play a pivotal role in the elections,” he said.
Khalap recalled the times when the “Indira is India” slogan was raised (by the Congress during an emergency).

“Then PM Indira Gandhi broke the Khalistan movement’s backbone; she was responsible for the freedom of Bangladesh, she even lost her life in a terror attack. But even after that, we have seen political changes that have happened in the country,” he said.

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