Will back Congress if Ram temple in manifesto, says VHP working president; backtracks laterhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/vhp-ram-temple-ayodhya-congress-manifesto-5547235/

Will back Congress if Ram temple in manifesto, says VHP working president; backtracks later

"The Congress has closed all its doors for us, but if they open their doors and include the Ram Mandir in their manifesto, we may think of supporting the party," Alok Kumar said.

Supreme Court to decide bench today for hearing Ayodhya order appeals
The VHP has been pressing the Narendra Modi government to bring in a legislation to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya. (File)

Sending a message to the government that it’s running out of patience over the Ayodhya issue, VHP working president Alok Kumar has reportedly said that if the Congress included Ram temple construction in its manifesto, the Hindutva outfit would think of backing the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“The Congress has closed all its doors for us, but if they open their doors and include the Ram Mandir in their manifesto, we may think of supporting the party,” IANS quoted Kumar as saying.

However, Kumar downplayed his remarks on Sunday, saying his statement made at Prayagraj was overstretched. “This is nothing but an overstretching of my statement. Neither are we considering to support the Congress nor will we do so in future,” IANS quoted Kumar as saying.

Kumar, instead, said the VHP wanted a “broad political consensus” on the Ram temple issue. “We want all political parties to support this issue. Whoever will support it, we will welcome. But it does not mean that the VHP will support any political party in the election,” he said.

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The VHP has been pressing the Narendra Modi government to bring in a legislation to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the Supreme Court was dragging the issue. The Hindutva outfit has been holding Dharma Sabhas to keep up the pressure on the BJP government over the Ram Temple.

However, in an interview this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear that the government would make “all efforts” on the Ram temple issue once the judicial process was over.

In Prayagraj, Kumar said on Saturday that the Congress must remove restrictions on ‘swamyasewaks‘ joining the party. “One doesn’t become a Brahmin by just wearing janeau,” Kumar said in a reference to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.