Does the Samajwadi Party want to build a Ram temple?

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 12, 2013 15:39 hrs

Lucknow: The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) Saturday came under heavy fire from the opposition over a letter purportedly calling a meeting of officials to discuss the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

As the letter raised a furore, the state government clarified that it was a "typographical error".

Refusing to buy the "error" explanation, the Congress said that the clarification was "shady", and raised suspicion that there was some "match-fixing between the SP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)".

The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesman Zeeshan Haider said that there can be an error of a word or two, but it stretched credulity when entire sentences were different from the draft. "This is ridiculous, and raises enough questions" he said.

In a letter (4622 D/F-Pu-4-2013) dated Oct 9, Sarvesh Chandra Mishra, secretary of the state home department had informed senior police and administrative officials of a meeting to "discuss the construction of a Shri Ram temple in Ayodhya through a parliamentary law on lines of the reconstruction of the Somnath temple in Gujarat".

The letter further detailed that the meeting would be presided over by principal secretary (Home) at the IInd floor command centre of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan office Oct 14.

The invitees include the director general of police (DGP), additional director general of police (ADG) law and order, IG (railways), ADG (Intelligence), IG (law and Order), IG Lucknow, IG Faizabad and DM/SSP Faizabad.

The letter has come as a big blow to the Akhilesh Yadav government with regard to its relationship with Muslims, who are angry over the Muzaffarnagar riots of September that killed 62 persons and displaced over 43,000.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed the letter as yet "another attempt of a failed government to win votes."

"This letter proves that not only is SP confused, but also desperate to get votes as it is the same party which ordered firing at innocent kar sevaks in the 90s" said Vijay Bahadur Pathak, state spokesman of the BJP.

The state government, meanwhile, said the letter had some "typographical errors" and added that they had been subsequently rectified. "There is no such move with regards to temple construction" an official said, adding that a probe would look into the issue on how such a blunder took place.

Home department officials are likely to address a press conference later in the day.

SP leader Naresh Agarwal too denied that there was a move to build a temple, and said that the meeting was to be held in connection with security arrangements during the festival season.

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