By Saiyed Moziz Imam Zaidi
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS): Terming the Gyanvapi case a "diversionary tactic" of the ruling BJP, the Congress has demanded strict adherence to the provision of the 1991 Act in letter and spirit saying any kind of change in the status of places of worship would lead to a massive conflict.
Seeking maintenance of status quo at the places of worship, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said: "The matter is under the purview of the Supreme Court and we hope justice would be delivered as the case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute was decided on the basis of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, which says that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to be the same as it existed" on August 15, 1947."
Dubbing it a "political" move, the Congress says its a "diversionary" tactic by the BJP to push the issues of inflation, unemployment and rupee downfall into the back-burner.
Recently, former Home Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram had said that the status quo on all places of worship should be maintained else it would lead to a conflict.
"Places of Worship Act was passed by the Narasimha Rao government with the lone exception of Ram Janmabhoomi. All other places should have the status quo as any kind of change could lead to a huge conflict," he had said.
The Congress is in a catch 22 situation as the party in its 'Chintan Shivir' has come up with a social and economic agenda to counter the BJP. The party leaders, who deliberated over the issue, said that ideological differences with the BJP is core to the Congress politics and to fight for the people's cause is the key takeaway from the brainstorming session. But the party has now been put on test in Gyanvapi row which could be a new controversy in political discourse as it has rethink about the strategy on the issue.
"The data of caste census of backward classes by the Congress-UPA government is deliberately not being made public by the Union government. The direct goal behind this is to deprive the backward classes of their rights. The Indian National Congress resolves to begin a decisive struggle for the demand to make the caste census data public and get the backward classes their rights," the party has said in its resolution.
The Congress thought to fight the BJP and counter it on Hindutva through a social and economic agenda but now the party has to adopt a new stance--even Rahul Gandhi has alleged that -"Distracting people won't change facts. India looks a lot like Sri Lanka," Rahul tweeted.
To counter BJP's Hindutva, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has announced two major mass contact programmes -- one is the agitational programme against inflation to restart from June 15 and the footmarch 'Bharat Jodo', from October 2.
The Congress resolution also mentioned about the fight for all sections of society and particularly about the caste census, which is a big OBC push and the Congress leaders pointed that it may affect the BJP's social engineering in many states, especially in the election-going states.