As his party MPs joined the Sangh Parivar chorus for an early decision on the Ayodhya title suit and construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site, BJP president Amit Shah Wednesday said the party wants a temple “at the exact spot” and if the Supreme Court were to conduct “day-to-day hearings, this is a case that will not go beyond ten days”.
He said he is “confident” that the hearings will start in January, and the Supreme Court should rule on it quickly “whatever the decision”. He said not only the BJP, but the entire country wants “a grand Ram temple” built in Ayodhya.
On the issue of Sabarimala and judicial review in matters of faith, Shah said: “Sabarimala is not about gender indiscrimination, it’s about a belief. There are many such issues where judicial reviews are not possible, it should be left to the people… My personal belief is that matters of religious nature can’t be put to judicial review.”
On October 29, the Supreme Court, unmoved by Uttar Pradesh government’s plea for early hearing in the Ayodhya matter, ordered listing of appeals against the Allahabad High Court order in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit before an “appropriate bench” in the first week of January to fix a date for hearing.
“Ayodhya is a title issue. The BJP clearly states that we want to build a grand Ram temple at the exact spot and it is the demand of the entire nation… The case was pending before the Supreme Court much before 2014. Lawyers of both the Centre and UP government requested the court to give priority to the case,” Shah said at a Republic TV event in Mumbai.
Mentioning Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal’s demand for conducting the hearings after the 2019 elections, he said, “I feel the case should be cleared at the earliest. Whatever the decision… it should be taken at the earliest… It is important to a lot of people… sentiments of people across the country… Crores of people believe that the temple should be built there.”
On Tuesday, BJP MPs raised the Ram temple issue at a meeting of the parliamentary party, asking the government what stand had it taken on the issue. Hari Narayan Rajbhar, MP from Ghosi, wanted to know whether the government planned to bring a Bill to facilitate temple construction.
Later, Rajbhar told The Indian Express: “Yes, I raised the issue at the meeting and asked the government when will the Bill be brought. Rajnathji (Home Minister Rajnath Singh) asked us to wait… When the domes were brought down in 1992, no one had taken permission of the court. Now the controversial structure doesn’t even exist there. So people should build the temple. It’s a matter of faith.”