Going totally against what Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh had promised last month, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that his party is not a temple construction company.
"BJP is not a construction company to build a temple, mosque, church and gurudwara. We support the cause that there should be a Ram temple in Ayodhya, but it has to be done with consensus of the religious groups and organisations through negotiations and talks. Or according to the court's verdict," said Naqvi, who is vice president of the BJP, in an interview to Gulf News on Friday.
Naqvi, who is the most prominent Muslim leader in the saffron party, is contesting Lok Sabha elections from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.
During the BJP's national council meeting at Nagpur last month, Rajnath Singh had said: "Building a temple to Lord Ram was the party's nishtha and aastha (vow and aspiration). We will build the Ram temple."
He had said that the BJP was waiting for an opportunity and would make a law when they come to power at the centre with a majority.
The BJP and other organisations have campaigned for the construction of a Ram temple where the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished by fundamentalists in December 1992. They argue that the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram.
"For the BJP, Ayodhya is not a political issue. But more than us, our political opponents are worried and keep reminding us. They say we have forgotten the issue of the construction of Ram temple. And that we are not doing anything about Article 370 and the Common Civil Code," Naqvi added.