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PM's remarks alienate secular forces: Latheef

By Our Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE, DEC. 14. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's description of the demand for a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya as an expression of national feeling sought to alienate the secular forces in the country, the State president of the Indian National League, Mr. M. Abdul Latheef, said here today.

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Latheef said while the secular forces in the country, including the Muslims, expressed willingness to accept the Supreme Court verdict on the issue,

Mr. Vajpayee's `national expression' concept only suggested that secular forces did not belong to this nation.

Mr. Latheef alleged that the Tirunelveli mosque incident was a fall-out of Mr. Vajpayee's statement. He ``should not have made the statement in his capacity as the Prime Minister.''

He defended the demand of the Opposition for the resignation of the three Union Ministers - Mr. L.K. Advani, Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi and Ms. Uma Bharti - as they were chargesheeted in the demolition case by a competent agency like the CBI, which, in fact, was under the control of the Prime Minister himself.

Mr. Latheef said it was shocking that the DMK president and Chief Minister, Mr. Karunanidhi, still supported Mr. Vajpayee. The DMK should quit the National Democratic Alliance if it wanted to re- establish its ``dwindling political credibility and fast eroding ideological foundation''.

Those supporting the Prime Minister's views were doing damage to the nation. It would not be patriotic to vote for them in the next elections, he said.

Mr. Latheef evaded a question on the petrol bomb incident in Coimbatore on Monday night. Asked whether the incident was a fallout of the murder in the Tirunelveli mosque, Mr. Latheef said he was not aware of the details about the Coimbatore incident.

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