The Congress on Monday hit back at the BJP over Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks about it having questioned the existence of Lord Ram, saying her own government had “denied existence” of his wife Sita.
“Does Nirmala Sitharaman know that BJP-led government told the parliament that Sita did not exist. Perhaps no one can imagine that they will take votes in the name of Lord Ram and say Sita did not exist,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here.
He was referring to the government’s reply in April last year to a parliamentary question about Sitamarhi being birth place of Sita, saying the matter of Sita’s birthplace was a matter of faith which does not depend on direct evidence.
Ot also said excavations had not been done by the Archaelogical Department in the Bihar district and there was no historical evidence that it was her birth place and that the “Valmiki Ramayana”, which is estimated to belong to 2nd century BC, mentions Sita was born in the Mithila region.
Surjewala also said that feasibility study of Sethusamudram ship canal was undertaken during the first BJP-led NDA government.
“You conceived the Sethusamudram project, spent money and you are finding faults with the Congress,” he said.
The Sethusamudram project has been facing resistance from some environmentalists and Hindu groups as an alignment in the Palk Strait to facilitate navigation was to pass through the mythological ‘Rama Sethu’ – believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s army to cross into then Lanka.
Sitharaman had on Sunday taken a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s remarks at the Congress’s plenary session and said the party which questioned the “fundamental existence” of Lord Ram wants to be identified itself with the Pandavas.