RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Ram temple law demand proves its image makeover bid superficial: Yashwant Sinha

Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s demand for a law to construct a Ram temple in Ayodhya “proves” that the organisation would never change howsoever it tries to to improve its image by inviting prominent people at Sangh events, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said Monday. In an apparent reference to the government take-over of the debt-laden firm IL&FS, Sinha said the country was facing a “payment crisis” because public money is being “misused” to “bail out” banks and NBFCs through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).

Addressing a press conference en route to Akola where he would address a rally of farmers Tuesday, the former BJP leader questionned the legitimacy of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief’s demand for a Parliamentary law. “How can an act of Parliament be passed when the issue (title suits for the disputed land in Ayodhya) is being heard in the Supreme Court. “This (Bhagwat’s statement) means that you want to prevent the apex court from giving the order. Though I had left the BJP, but (I know that) the BJP’s stand is that this issue be resolved either through consensus or through the decision of court,” he said. “As the issue is being heard in the apex court, they should wait for the court’s decision,” he said.

In his annual Vijayadashmi address in Nagpur on October 18, Bhagwat said the government should clear the path for construction of the Ram temple through an appropriate and requisite law. He had said the temple construction was necessary from the “self-esteem point of view” and it will also pave way for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness. Sinha said, “RSS invited former president Pranab Mukherjee, (industrialist) Ratan Tata and others (to address swayamsevaks in Nagpur) as a part of its image makover exercise. However, the RSS chief’s statement proves that it (the organisation) will never change”.

While Mukherjee, a Congress veteran, had attended the RSS event in June this year, Tata shared the stage with Bhagwat in August. Sinha, who floated a front to take up the issues of farmers after quitting the BJP, said the BJP and Congress would face a tight contest in forthcoming Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly polls. “It is difficult to say who will win,” he said. Responding to a query on his prediction about the BJP’s prospects in the party-ruled Rajasthan, which is going to polls in December, Sinha cited conversation he had had with a resident of that state. “That person opined that the BJP will lose in Rajasthan,” he said.

When asked if he would campaign for Congress or AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) in the forthcoming elections, Sinha said he would think over it if invited. He also attacked the government on a string of issues including the current turmoil in the CBI. “The government is finishing autonomy of independent institutions like the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and Reserve Bank,” he said. Referring to filing of an FIR by the CBI against its own special director in connection with an alleged bribery scandal, Sinha said the development was embarrassing for the investigating agency. “What has happened to these organisations,” he questioned.

Sinha said the country was facing a huge “payment crisis” and cited the IL&FS takeover. “The government is misusing money invested by people in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to bail out the banks and other financial institutions. The government is bailing out IL&FS and other NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Corporations). “The government is spending money of people parked in the LIC, thinking that it is its own money. The government is misusing the people’s money to bail out banks and other financial institutions,” said Sinha.

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