Raising the heat on the Ayodhya issue ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Monday that “there should be no doubt” that a temple will be built at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site.
Addressing a “Sant Sammelan” in Ayodhya, Adityanath said: “Maryada Purushotam Ram iss brahmand ke swami hain. Swabhavik roop se Ayodhya mein jab prabhu Ram ki kripa hogi toh Ayodhya mein bhagwan Ram ka bhavya mandir banke hi rahega… ismein koi sandeh hona hi nahin chahiye (Lord Ram is the master of this universe. It is obvious that when Ayodhya has his blessings, the Ram temple would be built in Ayodhya… there should be no doubt about this).”
This is the first time in the recent past that Adityanath has spoken so strongly in favour of the temple’s construction.
His remarks came after Ram Vilas Vedanti, one of the participants and a member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, declared on the dais that they would start construction of the temple without waiting for a court order. Assuring the gathering that he was one of them, Adityanath said: “You have shown so much patience so far, you should show patience for some more time.”
Warning of a conspiracy to create hurdles in the way of building the temple, Adityanath said: “On one hand, they file an application in court to ensure that the hearing does not take place before 2019. On the other hand, they talk of BJP not doing anything in the direction. Ultimately, whether it’s the BJP or any government, efforts will be made to find a solution in a Constitutional way.”
In December 2017, senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal had argued in the Supreme Court that the hearing on the disputed site be deferred till the 2019 elections due to the political atmosphere. The apex court, however, rejected his plea. While the BJP criticised Sibal and his party for the statement, the Congress said it was not a party to the case.
Speaking during the event, Vedanti referred to the Babri demolition and said that “just like everything happened then without court orders… before the 2019 elections, the construction of the temple would start in Ayodhya, I assure you”.
Earlier, talking to reporters before the event, Vedanti said: “Hum court ke adesh ka samman karte hain, lekin bina court ke adesh ke bhi hum mandir ka nirman prarambh karenge (We respect the court’s order but we will also start construction of the temple without it).”
Another participant, Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara, said before the event that the dispute was an “issue of faith and not of the court”.
In Delhi, meanwhile, the VHP’s governing council expressed hope that the Supreme Court would pronounce its judgment very soon in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit and that the construction of the temple would start before the end of this year. Speaking at the end of a two-day meet, VHP working president Alok Kumar said: “Our lawyers are of the opinion that we have a good case and we hope to win. If it happens, we feel that the path will be created for the construction of a grand temple by the end of this year.”
Kumar, however, sought to play down the remarks of Ram Vilas Vedanti in Ayodhya, describing them as “a personal view”. “The VHP will wait for the completion of the ongoing judicial process. Whether the temple is built by a court order or an Act enacted by Parliament, we believe in building it lawfully… But the VHP will not accept any mosque within the cultural territory of Ayodhya,” he said.
(With inputs from ENS/Delhi)