In the run up to the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has revived its old Ram Mandir issue, which can help it increase its tally in the communally sensitive state.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be built in three months once the Supreme Court approves it. He claimed that the temple will be ready before next year’s Ram Navami.
“We are quite sure that the Supreme Court’s verdict will be in our favour, as we have proved in the court that a mandir existed at the Babri Masjid site. We expect a verdict soon, and the mandir will be ready [for devotees] before Ram Navami next year,” Swamy said at a seminar on Why Shri Ram Temple at Ayodhya and How. The seminar was organised at a Dadar temple by Virat Hindustan Sangam, a Hindu outfit of which Swamy is the national head.
Swamy expressed confidence that the site would be given for the temple. In 2010, the Allahabad high court had pronounced judgment making both Hindu and Muslims joint holders of the site.
Additional solicitor-general G Rajgopalan attended the Sunday’s programme in which he said the evidence gathered by the Archeological Survey of India showed that a Ram temple existed at the disputed mosque site.
On the Opposition’s charges that the BJP is raking up the mandir issue keeping in mind the UP elections, Swamy said, “Till when should I refrain from talking about the issue? We have elections every year. If they [the Opposition] think the mandir issue gets votes, then they should speak in favour of it to get votes.”
He added that the Ram temple issue was also part of the BJP’s manifesto before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. Swamy said efforts were being made on a daily basis to build a consensus over hearing of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case in the court. He thanked former Congress Prime Ministers — Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao — for their noble efforts to resolve the temple dispute.
“I have known Rajiv Gandhi very well. Had he become Prime Minister once again, he would have definitely constructed the Ram Temple at the same place [where the demolished Babri mosque stood]. He had got the Ram temple [Babri masjid] unlocked and allowed the shilanyas [foundation laying] ceremony for the Ram temple,” he said.