Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the Congress was the biggest hurdle in construction of the grand Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya, and sought to know whether the Rahul Gandhi-led party was concerned about Lord Ram or Mughal emperor Babur.
Addressing a rally in Kawardha of Chhattisgarh on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the state polls, Adityanath said: "The Congress should be asked if their relation is with (Lord) Ram or with foreign invader Babur. The Congress has no idea about the country's respect and 'swabhimaan' (self-respect). The Congress always played with the national security and is now coming in front of you for votes."
Adityanath also alleged that the Congress encouraged Naxalism in the state and it was the BJP which had to deal with it.
"The Congress encouraged Naxalism for its gains, but when it (Naxalism) became dangerous for the security of people, it was the BJP which had to deal with the issue sternly. The Congress has been encouraging Naxalism actively and covertly," he said.
"The Congress, for its own gains, played with the security of the country. Be it Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand, where the issue was giving asylum to Naxalites or using states like Kashmir for political benefits. But for the BJP, national security is of prime importance, hence (it) never accepted toying with it," Adityanath said.
In a similar statement against the Congress, BJP president Amit Shah, earlier in the day, said a party that thought the rebel movement was a medium for revolution could not do any good for the state. He also lauded the Raman Singh government for making Chhattisgarh "almost free" of Naxalism.
"A party that feels Naxalism is a medium for revolution cannot do any good for Chhattisgarh," he said, while attacking referring to Uttar Pradesh Congress president Raj Babbar's remarks last week.
The elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly will be held in two phases on November 12 and 20.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister also slammed the Congress for not utilising the natural resources in Chhattisgarh.
Despite having extensive mineral deposits and forest wealth, Chhattisgarh remained "poor, backward and a BIMARU state" during the Congress rule, he said.
"Today, the forest wealth is being used for the welfare of locals. The adivasis (tribals) and forest dwellers are being given benefits of development schemes," the priest-turned-politician said.
(With PTI inputs)