The Supreme Court must understand the sentiments of Hindus across India and fast-track its decision on the Ram temple dispute, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said on Friday.
The RSS, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ideological parent, also threatened a mass agitation like the one that took place in 1992 — before the demolition of the Babri Masjid — to ensure the temple is built. It said the BJP government will have to, at some point, consider bringing in an ordinance to resolve the temple dispute.
Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra, was quick to respond to RSS’ statement, asking it to topple the Narendra Modi government for failing to construct the temple at Ayodhya. “If you [the RSS] feel the need for an agitation, despite having a strong government in place, why don’t you pull down this government?” Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said.
“A majority government with a particular political ideology is in power,” Thackeray said. “Despite this, if the temple could not be built, the government has no reason to be in power.”
The Sena has been consistently taking on the BJP for not fulfilling its poll promise of constructing the temple. The party has been demanding that the Centre brings in an ordinance, instead of waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict. Thackeray, in an attempt to put pressure on the BJP, is also going to visit Ayodhya on November 25.
“The issue of the Ram temple was sidetracked after this government came to power. It was only after the Sena took up the issue again and insisted on the construction of the temple did the RSS feel the need for an agitation ,” Thackeray said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the RSS general secretary Joshi however, said he welcomed Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit. “We believe all those who speak in favour of the Ram Mandir stand united with us,” he said.
Joshi said the RSS was “upset” with the delay in the Supreme Court’s verdict. “We expected a positive development before Diwali, but the court has indefinitely prolonged it,” he said. “The faith of crores of Hindus is linked to the issue. If it is not on top of the Supreme Court’s priority list, it is an insult to the Hindu community.”
Joshi said the BJP, too, was “serious” about the Ram temple issue. On the RSS beginning an agitation, Joshi said there were restrictions on such activities as the case was pending in court.
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey said, “Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has prepared a plan for Ayodhya. He will give good news to the people regarding temple on Diwali. Yogi will disclose his plan during visit to the temple town during the Deepotsav celebrations (November 6).”
Yogi is also likely to announce the construction of the grand statue of Ram. The state government plans to build the 100-metre tall statue at a cost of Rs 330 crore. It will be installed on a 36-metre high pedestal near the bank of the river, a senior BJP leader said.
After the Supreme Court on October 29 declined to allow the UP government’s plea for an early hearing in the matter, the chief minister had said, “If justice is given in time, it is appreciated as fair but when delayed it is equivalent to injustice.”
First Published: Nov 03, 2018 00:05 IST
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