PM Modi Should Clear His Stand if Govt Will Bring in Ordinance to Build Ram Mandir: Chidambaram
Chidambaram’s statements come on the day when Supreme Court decided to adjourn hearing the Ram Mandir issue till January and BJP MP, Subramanian Swamy talked of bringing in an ordinance to build Ram Mandir.
File photo of PM Narendra Modi. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the Prime Minister should make his stand clear on the question of bringing an ordinance to build the Ram Mandir.
Chidambaram’s statements come on the day when Supreme Court decided to adjourn hearing the Ram Mandir issue till January and BJP MP Subramanian Swamy talked of bringing in an ordinance to build Ram Mandir.
“The ordinance is not passed by Parliament. It is done by the executive. If someone is asking for an ordinance [to build Ram Mandir] it is for the Prime Minister [as the chief of the executive] to respond to,” Chidambaram said, adding, “if at all he’ll respond to any issue.”
On the larger question of the temple construction, Chidambaram said, “Every five years before elections, the BJP tries to polarise views on Ram Mandir. As far as Congress’ stand is concerned, our view has always been that the matter is before the Supreme Court and everyone should wait until the Supreme Court decides the question. I don’t think we should jump the gun.”
The former union finance minister also responded to a question about the comments made by the deputy governor of RBI, Viral Acharya, saying that the RBI governor and Finance Minister should stop the practice of talking across each other through lectures and instead sit face-to-face to discuss issues.
In his lecture, Acharya had said that government’s attempts to undermine the independence of the RBI could be “potentially catastrophic”, in comments that appeared to push back against government pressure ahead of a general election next year.
“It is too early to tell what caused [Acharya to say this] but there must have been some reason why the deputy governor delivered that speech. In the footnote, he says that he's grateful to Dr [Urjit] Patel [the RBI governor] to urge him to make those remarks. I think it will be best if the RBI governor and the government don’t talk across to each other through lectures,” he said.
He added, “The time-honoured practice of Finance Minister and RBI governor meeting personally and talking issues seems to me to be the best way forward.”
Chidambaram was addressing media from the party headquarters in Delhi in an event held to mark the release of a website [manifesto.nic.in] to seek public’s opinion on drafting the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2019 general polls.
Titled ‘Jan-awaaz [Public’s voice]’, the exercise was being described by Chidambaram’s party colleague, Rajeev Gowda, who was also present at the press conference, as an attempt to ‘crowd source inputs’ and hold consultations with the public to decide on the party’s manifesto.
“The Congress has started work to write its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress president has made it clear that the Congress party’s manifesto would be an inclusive process based on conversations with the people of India,” Chidambaram, who is the head of this committee, said.
The party’s manifesto has been broken into 20 segments, Gowda said, like economy, industry and MSME sector, agriculture and agricultural labour, urban issues, issues of serving and retired members of armed services, education, healthcare, defence and security issues, youth, environment, art heritage culture, women and children.
The website launched on Monday has 16 languages, including Odiya, Manipuri, Tamil, Gurumukhi, to allow people to voice their inputs in their own languages.
“Throughout India we will have 150 consultations and the process will be completed by December though it could flow into early January as well. The draft prepared will then be sent to the party’s manifesto committee, after which the working committee will review it. Finally, it will go to the core committee after whose approval the manifesto will be made public,” Gowda said.
On the question of whether the party was planning to launch, instead of its individual manifesto, a document like the Common Minimum Program [CMP], such was released by UPA-1, Chidambaram said, “I don’t know yet if there will be a pre-election CMP or a post-election CMP. I’m concerned only about the draft of my party’s manifesto. I'm sure every party is working on their own manifestos,” Chidambaram said.
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