New Delhi: A day after Rahul Gandhi said that Ram Temple shouldn’t be the agenda for upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Smriti Irani said that neither Lord Ram exists for the Congress party nor does Ram Mandir hold any significance for them.

“Rahul Gandhi has said that Ram temple is not an important issue for him. The Gandhi family and the Congress party which submitted an affidavit before a court that there was no evidence to prove Lord Ram’s existence, Ram Temple also doesn’t hold any significance. (Rahul Gandhi ji ka aj ek bayaan aaya hai ki unke liye Ram Mandir koi vishesh vishya nahi hai. Jis Gandhi pariwaar aur Congress ne nyaylaya mein yeh affidavit diya ki Bhagwan Ram ka koi astitva nahi hai, unke liye mandir bhi vishesh nahi hoga), said Irani, while speaking to reporters in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency.

Earlier on Friday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi refused to comment on Ayodhya title suit saying,”The matter is sub-judice, I won’t say anything on it.” On being asked if Ram Mandir issue will change the narrative of 2019, Gandhi stated that  issues such as unemployment, healthcare and corruption will set the agenda for upcoming general elections.

“The immense destruction done to the economy and corruption done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be among the things that will form the narrative for the Lok Sabha elections,” a leading portal quoted Gandhi as saying.

Before Gandhi, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal United (JD-U) patron Nitish Kumar had also stated that the century old Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision or mutual understanding. Echoing Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan’s views, Kumar had asserted that development was the key for winning 2019 parliamentary elections.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court deferred hearing on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute to January 10, saying a bench that will hear a batch of cross petitions challenging the 2014 Allahabad High Court judgement on the Ayodhya title issue will decide the way forward. “The further orders (on the hearing of the petition) will be passed by the bench which will be constituted on January 10,”Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.