Maintaining that the ruling party is committed to building a “grand Ram temple” in Ayodhya, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday asked the leadership of the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to clarify before the Lok Sabha elections whether they want the temple to be built.
Addressing BJP’s booth presidents from 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of western UP in Amroha, Shah said religious leaders and shankaracharyas, who assembled at the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, have said that they want the temple constructed at the earliest.
Chanting “Jai Shree Ram”, Shah said, “I am here to tell BJP workers (that) there should not be any confusion: the party believes, and we all are committed, that a grand Ram temple should be built at that place at the earliest. There is no confusion in our mind on this… I want to ask Congress president Rahul Gandhi to declare before the elections whether he is in favour of building a Ram temple there (Ayodhya).”
He demanded the same declaration from leaders of the SP and the BSP.
In the context of the Centre’s plea in Supreme Court, seeking to return “excess” land acquired in Ayodhya to the “original owners”, including the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Shah said the Nyas has asked the Narendra Modi government to return the land, and the government has decided that it should be given back. He said the land in question was acquired by the government under the Congress, and the BJP government will return it to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
Taking on the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, which is likely to also include the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Shah said, “These parties — of bua (Mayawati), bhatija (Akhilesh Yadav), Ajit Singh (RLD chief ) — they all will come with issues of castes. I ask you: can Ajit Singh ensure the country’s security? Can Behenji (Mayawati) do that? Can the bhatija (nephew) do that? They cannot — only Narendra Modi can ensure the nation’s security.”
Asking BJP workers to not worry about the SP-BSP poll alliance in UP, Shah said, “Only two (parties) have come together so far. Even if more (parties) join the alliance, BJP workers are ready to contest for 50 per cent (votes for the party).”