Ordinance for Ram temple? No, says Nitish Kumar’s JD (U)
Key NDA constituent JD(U) on Friday made it clear that it was not in favor of promulgation of an ordinance to facilitate the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, demand for which has been made by the sangh parivar and a section of the BJP.
JD(U) national general secretary Ram Chandra Prasad Singh said the party will stick to its earlier stand it had taken on the issue in its earlier avatar as the Samata Party which was -- the issue either be solved by mutual consent between the affected communities or decided by a court of law.
There should be no confusion in the minds of the people with regard to our stand on Ram temple issue at Ayodhya. If an ordinance is promulgated to facilitate construction of the temple, our party will not support it, he said.
“Since the Samata Party days, we have been in favour of a resolution of the dispute by mutual consent or through a court order. We brook no third alternative,” Singh, who is also the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha and a confidant of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters here.
Even before walking out of the NDA in 2013, the JD(U) had always insisted that abrogating Article 370, Ram temple in Ayodhya and Uniform Civil Code should be kept out of the coalition agenda.
JD(U), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is running a coalition government with the BJP in Bihar.
Earlier, the party’s newly-appointed vice-president Prashant Kishor had also obliquely expressed disapproval of Ram temple being made a poll plank, pointing out that Narendra Modi had won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls without taking recourse to the emotive issue.
Pressure has been mounting on the BJP from the Sangh Parivar, of which it is a part of, and a section of hardliners within the party to make headway for the construction of Ram temple, which they termed as an issue relating to peoples’ faith (aastha).
The Sangh Parivar has been demanding construction of a temple at the disputed site through an act in Parliament.
However, with the BJP’s tally in the Lok Sabha having gone down on account of loss in a number of by-polls and the party falling short of majority in the Rajya Sabha there have been demands that an ordinance be promulgated to facilitate temple construction before the general elections due next year.
A number of NDA allies, including Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, have expressed discomfiture over the BJP’s pursuit of the Hindutva agenda.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)