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Rahul Gandhi didn't visit Ram temple for fear of losing vote bank: Amit Shah

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Mumbai, May 13 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi did not visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya as he feared losing his vote bank.

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Addressing a rally in Maharashtra's Dhule district, Shah also said Gandhi opposed the abrogation of Article 370, which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and sought to know the views of Shiv Sena (UBT) head Uddhav Thackeray on the Congress leader's stand.

The Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP) are constituents of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in the state and the INDIA alliance at the national level.

The consecration of Lord Ram's idol was held at the Ayodhya temple in January this year.

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Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only helped in the resolution of the Ram temple issue but also facilitated its construction.

"Rahul Gandhi was invited (for the Ram temple inauguration), but he did not visit because he feared losing his vote bank. The BJP does not have any such fear," he said.

The Congress did not remove Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir because of the same appeasement politics, the senior BJP leader said.

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"Gandhi opposed the abrogation of Article 370. I want to ask his ally Uddhav Thackeray what are his views on Gandhi's stand. Gandhi and Congress insulted (Hindutva ideologue) Veer Savarkar. What does Thackeray have to say about it?" he asked.

"I also want a clarification from Uddhav Thackeray. One of the constituents of the opposition INDIA bloc is DMK led by M K Stalin, and his son Udhayanidhi Stalin has insulted Sanatan Dharma. Does Uddhav agree with them?" Shah sought to know.

Further targeting the Congress and the Wayanad MP, the Union minister said 20 attempts were made to "launch and relaunch" Rahul Gandhi as a leader.

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"How can he (Gandhi) even launch Chandrayaan to the moon? Can he or his government ever give a befitting response to Pakistan? Can they end Naxalism or terrorism in the country? Can they make India prosperous?" he asked.

Shah was campaigning for BJP's Dhule Lok Sabha seat candidate Subhash Bhamre, the former Union Minister of State for Defence.

The Congress has fielded former MLA Shobha Bachhav against Bhamre in Dhule, where polling will be held on May 20. PTI ND GK

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