BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh livestock and fisheries minister S P Singh Baghel Friday said that the Supreme Court, which had earlier passed judgments even at night considering the importance of the cases, should give more weight to the Ram Mandir issue and treat it on a priority basis as public and religious sentiments are attached with it. His comments come at the backdrop of the Supreme Court order that an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case.
“It is not right in democracy to comment on a matter that is sub-judice, but while making a decision (on Ram Mandir issue), any institution should take into consideration the seriousness of public and religious sentiments. The Supreme Court had earlier come out with judgments on contemporary issues even at night. This is also an important issue as people’s sentiments are attached with it,” Baghel said.
“We are all waiting. I believe Ram Mandir should be built. In Bengal, there are statues of B C Roy, Rabindranath Tagore and many others. Ram is a god and since he was born in Ayodhya, a temple should be built there,” Baghel added.
Baghel was in Kolkata to promote UP’s Maha Kumbh Mela and said he had sought the appointment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to invite her as well. “We have been trying to get an appointment for the last 12 days, but it seems she is busy. I will wait for another day and if she still remains unavailable, I will deliver the card to her through a representative,” Baghel added.
The minister also criticised Mamata for not giving permission to BJP’s proposed rath yatra in the state. “The matter should have not gone to the courts in the first place,” said Baghel.
“Didn’t she (Mamata) stage demonstrations and rallies when she was with Youth Congress? The Constitution gives us the liberty to take out rallies and protests. When the permission for rally was sought, it should have been told to the BJP leaders here that the permission would be granted on particular terms and conditions. That she refused to give the nod shows she was afraid because she apprehended that the yatra would be so huge that Bengal Police would not be able to handle it. There have been talks of intolerance from several quarters in Bengal. What can be a bigger example of intolerance than this?” Baghel asked.
Commenting on the recent incidents of Muslims being driven out of parks in UP where they went to perform namaz, he said, “Muslims should perform namaz at a place where it is valid.”
Speaking on protection of cows and ban on cow slaughter earlier in the day, he said the sentiments of those who treat cow as their mother should be respected. “There are people who consider cow as their mother. Their sentiments should be respected. It is not right to say that we are only interested in protecting cows even at the cost of human lives,” he said in replying to a question if the UP government is more focused on cows than human lives.
Baghel said, “We have made laws against cow slaughter. So, if someone violates that law, action will be taken as per law, in the same way as steps are taken in case of loss of human lives.”
— With PTI inputs