No mandate for Ram mandir, Article 370: Amit Shahhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/no-mandate-for-temple-art-370-amit-shah/

No mandate for Ram mandir, Article 370: Amit Shah

BJP president says the party needs 370 seats in Lok Sabha to address its core ideological issues.

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BJP President Amit Shah at a press conference, in Delhi Tuesday. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey

With RSS affiliates sending repeated reminders to the government on the “core issues” of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, repealing Article 370 and introducing a uniform civil code in the country, BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday said these cannot be addressed till such time the party has 370 seats in Lok Sabha.

“We have not got enough mandate to address core issues. We need 370 seats, according to the Constitution, to address these,” Shah told reporters at the BJP headquarters while responding to a query on why was the party not pushing its core ideological issues despite a majority in Lok Sabha.

The remarks came on the day the VHP leadership passed a resolution in Haridwar, asking the government to enact a legislation to clear the way for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Earlier this month, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, speaking in Ayodhya, said the government would not be able to enact a legislation since the NDA was a minority in Rajya Sabha.

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Shah said the BJP was giving “great importance” to the assembly elections in Bihar later this year. Asked whether his party would go to polls with existing allies or join hands with the likes of Jitan Ram Manjhi and expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav, he said: “Talks are on. Our doors are open.”

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A section of the BJP leadership is keen on forging an alliance with Manjhi as he is expected to bring in votes from the most backward communities. “Every poll is a test. We are taking it seriously, attaching great importance to it,” he said. Currently, the BJP has the LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan and RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha as allies in Bihar.

Highlighting “restoration of the people’s confidence in government” as the biggest achievement of one year of NDA rule, Shah said: “This is a visible government unlike the previous one which was never seen anywhere. We have restored the dignity of the Prime Minister’s office. This government has come out of policy paralysis. The trust deficit is now over and the world is acknowledging India’s progress.”

He listed a host of initiatives, pointing out that the government had strengthened the federal structure, improved India’s position abroad and was committed to bring back black money.

Attacking the Congress, he dared its leaders to present again their “zero-loss theory” on the allocation of coal and spectrum auctions. “The UPA has mastered the art of presenting a lie as truth.” He said whenever there is a Congress government, the country’s growth rate falls but rises when the BJP comes to power.

On his party’s commitment to bring back black money from foreign shores, Shah said: “No one will be spared. That is why a new law for unaccounted money stashed abroad has been brought by this government. I can assure you that no money will go out of this country henceforth.”

He criticised those who wanted disclosure of names of people with unaccounted money in foreign banks, calling them “counsel” of those who generate black money. Disclosure of names, he said, would be a violation of international treaties.