Mumbai, Dec 24 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan Monday said the Shiv Sena was raising the Ram temple issue, as it is staring at defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.Also Read - Goa Election 2022: Why Congress Refused To Align With Shiv Sena, NCP

On a day Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed a gathering in the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district and raised the pitch for construction of the temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya, Chavan said the ruling party is “lacking in performance” to seek votes. Also Read - Goa Assembly Election 2022: Shiv Sena, NCP To Contest Polls Together, Seat-Sharing Discussions on January 18

Chavan, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, also said the Sena harping on the temple issue suggested the “failure” of the ruling parties, including the BJP, in implementing the development agenda. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2022: Shiv Sena to Contest on 50-100 Seats, Says Sanjay Raut

“We all know what the Central and state governments (led by BJP-Shiv Sena) have done on the front of development.

Both the parties are clearly staring at their imminent defeat in polls,” Chavan told reporters here.

“Hence, they are engaging into the issues such as Ram temple, Ram statue, changing of names and the Pandharpur Yatra in Maharashtra,” he added.

The former Union minister also dismissed reports that he is likely yto contest the Lok Sabha polls from Pune.

“I have said it in Karad, Pune and I am saying it again in Mumbai too. I am nowhere related to the issue of contesting polls from Pune”, he said.

Responding to a query on Congress veteran DY Patil joining the NCP, Chavan said he was “surprised” to read the news about Patil’s cross over.

It could be Patil’s decision to join the NCP, he said.

He said the Congress and the NCP are holding seat-sharing talks for upcoming polls “in harmony” and that an arrangement would be finalised soon.

When asked to comment on RSS leader Krishna Gopal’s reported comment that India is secular because of Hindus, Chavan said the Congress “did not take the RSS seriously”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.