Noida (UP), Jan 30 (PTI) Neither the BJP nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi support derogatory statements against any “daughter of the country”, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Wednesday. Also Read - Joe Biden to Take Oath as 46th US President Today Amid Tight Security, Donald Trump to Skip Inauguration

His statement came after BJP MLA Surendra Singh, who represents the Bairia assembly constituency of Uttar Pradesh, compared Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Ravana and Surpanakha respectively — the villains in Ramayana. Also Read - 'Bengal Maango Toh Cheer Denge': TMC's Madan Mitra Issues Violent Threat To BJP

“The BJP is a party with discipline. If a person, be it an MLA or anybody else, makes any derogatory statement against any daughter of this nation, we do not support it,” Sharma told reporters on sidelines of an event here. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju To Look After Ayush Ministry Till Shripad Naik Recovers

“Neither the prime minister nor our government or our party president has ever supported such statements,” he said.

Sharma also dismissed a US intelligence report suggesting a strong possibility of communal violence in India if the ruling BJP stresses on Hindu nationalist themes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due in April-May.

“I am not ashamed to say that I am a Hindu nationalist, I am proud to say that. The second thing, whenever the BJP has governed any state or has been in power at the Centre, as we were under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and now almost five years under PM Modi, has there been any communal statement?” the Union minister asked.

“There are people who have been using communalism as a political tool. They have been bringing this up because they have nothing else to say. Our leaders and our government do not believe in casteism or communalism,” Sharma asserted.

He also trashed critics who have dubbed as “political gimmick” the Centre’s decision to move the Supreme Court seeking permission to return the “surplus” land acquired around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya to original owners.

“Lord Ram is the centre of faith for crores of people whose sentiments are attached with the temple. It is not an issue of politics but that of faith and faith never changes,” he said.

“Our party has always favoured a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Whatever obstacles crop up, our government is determined to pave the way for the temple and all possible solutions within the framework of the Constitution would be used,” he added.

Sharma said the decision was taken in response to public sentiment.

People showed their anger in different ways over the “delay” in the Supreme Court’s verdict in the case and our government responded by presenting the case before the top court again, he said.

The Gautam Buddh Nagar MP also lashed out at the Opposition for disrupting the Winter Session of Parliament and said it should play a constructive role in the upcoming Budget Session.

“This is going to be the last session, the Budget Session. The people always have some expectations and we are working towards fulfilling them. All our budgets have been focussed on the common man,” Sharma said.

“The Opposition should play a constructive role, but it has been seen that they just disrupt the proceedings of the House without any issue,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.