Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday asked the BJP to give details about the money collected in last 30 years for building the temple and demanded a probe into what happened to the fund.
“The people of BJP have no clue what the people of this country want, but they definitely want to win the elections in Uttar Pradesh by polarising the society. So, whenever there is an election around the corner, Ram Mandir is dragged off the shelf, dusted and presented to the people as a ‘commitment of their ideological purity’,” Tewari told ANI.
“The larger question is how much money has been collected in the name of constructing Ram Temple between 1986 and 2016. What has happened to that money?” he asked.
The Congress leader said that an income tax officer, Bishwa Bandhu Gupta, had allegedly come out with a report suggesting that around Rs 600 crore that was collected in the name of Ram Mandir in 1988-89 was allegedly deposited in a Swiss bank account.
“So there has to be a proper inquiry as to what has happened to all that money which was collected over all these years to build Ram Temple,” he added.
Tewari’s comments came a day after Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma claimed that the Centre is committed to the construction of the temple in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid was demolished back in 1992.
Sharma had said that his party and the government had already given their opinion on the issue that people of the country want the temple to be constructed as soon as possible.
“We want Ram Mandir to be constructed, but we will be abiding by the order of the Supreme Court or will try to reach a mutual consent to construct the temple. That is why it’s taking time,” he said.
“A majestic museum is being constructed in Ayodhya, and the central government has announced a Rs. 170-crore project under which a circuit will display the entire chapter of Ram van gaman.”
The arrival of a fresh load of stones from Bharatpur in Rajasthan on December 20 in the five-acre stretch near the VHP’s regional headquarters of Karsevakpuram and barely two kilometres from the disputed Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid site swung the spotlight onto the temple controversy.
The incident evoked a sharp reaction from Muslim leaders and rocked Rajya Sabha with political opponents of the NDA government alleging that it was intended to stir communal passion ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.