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New Delhi,Deepak Gidwani: The saffron brigade has jacked up the Ayodhya Ram temple construction issue once again, demanding a special bench in the Supreme Court for an early resolution of the long-standing dispute. Firebrand Hindutva leader Ashok Singhal has gone to the extent of asking the Muslims to give up their claim on the disputed shrine “in the interest of better relations” between the two communities.
In political circles, the move is being seen in tandem with the Bihar election to be held this year and the UP Assembly election due in 2017. Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders have questioned the timing of the VHP demand, saying the BJP was playing its usual communal card.
In Ayodhya, at the first meeting of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (trust) since the Modi government took over, VHP leaders and seers associated with the Ram temple movement were rather rigid about their demand that the BJP regime at the Centre initiate immediate and effective steps towards the construction of the promised Ram temple at Ayodhya.
“The Prime Minister should remember that he promised to build the Ram temple if the BJP government came to power. Now the time has come for him to keep his word,” said Ram Vilas Vedanti, one of the seniormost and much-revered priests associated with the Trust. He virtually pulled up the PM for not visiting Ayodhya after his landslide electoral victory as he said: “The PM goes to the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi. He goes to the Pashupatinath temple in Nepal, the Dhakeshwari temple in Dhaka and the Buddhist monasteries in China. Why can’t he come to Ayodhya?”
Vedanti said the government should introduce a Bill in the Lok Sabha for temple construction. “Even if the BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, it should take this initiative to secure the people’s trust,” he asserted.
VHP secretary-general Ashok Singhal said the Supreme Court should create a special bench to deal with the temple dispute for its early resolution. He called upon Muslims to give up their claim on the disputed shrine. “This would help create more harmony between Hindus and Muslims,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP MP from Etah Sakshi Maharaj has sprung a surprise by saying that the temple would be built in Ayodhya before the next Lok Sabha election. “We will go into the 2019 Lok Sabha election after building the Ram temple in Ayodhya,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
However, he did not elaborate how this would be possible, only saying that Ram Lala (Lord Ram) will himself take care of how it happens.