Govt to wait for Supreme Court on Ram temple: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ruled out an ordinance to pave the way for construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya, stressing that the government would consider other options only after the judicial process gets over in the Supreme Court, and slammed the Congress for delaying the legal proceedings.
In an interview to ANI, Modi firmly denied any plans to bring an ordinance like the one on instant triple talaq and said the government’s responsibility will come only after the matter gets over in the Supreme Court.
A title suit relating to the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is pending in the Supreme Court and is scheduled to come up for hearing on January 4.
“We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this (Ram temple) issue under the ambit of the Constitution.… The matter is currently before the Supreme Court…. Let the judicial process be over and after that whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to fulfil it,” Modi said, asked whether the government plans to bring an ordinance for the Ram temple as demanded by the Sangh parivar outfits.
While negating the option of an ordinance to bypass the court proceedings, Modi focused on slamming the Congress for putting road blocks in the path of the judicial process and appealed to the party to allow the Supreme Court to complete the process at the earliest. He stressed it was in the interest of “peace and brotherhood” in the country.
“The matter is before the Supreme Court and I beseech the Congress, for the sake of national peace and amity, that they should stop their lawyers from stalling the case in the court. Not to weigh it in political terms,” he said.
Modi accused successive Congress governments of striving to stall resolution of the dispute.
Apart from the legal hurdles, the Prime Minister’s reluctance to step in appeared more to be driven by the compulsion of keeping allies like Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan with the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Both the alliance leaders have articulated their disagreement with the temple cause, stressing that it was not on the agenda of the NDA.
The BJP is wary of taking any step that could drive away these allies ahead of the general election, especially after the party’s defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
The RSS, which has demanded that the government bring a law or an ordinance to start construction of the temple, on Tuesday reminded Modi of his election promise and said people expected it to be fulfilled in this term.
“The people of Bharat have reposed complete confidence and gave BJP the full mandate. The people of Bharat expect this government to fulfil the same promise during this tenure,” RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said in a statement.
The RSS reminded Modi of the BJP’s 1989 resolution on the Ram temple that talked about an “enabling legislation”.
“In this resolution the BJP had stated that they would try to construct the grand Sri Ram temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya through mutual dialogue between the two communities or by enabling required legislation,” the RSS said.
It continued: “Even in the 2014 election manifesto prepared under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, the BJP promised to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.”
The RSS said people gave the BJP a full majority in 2014 trusting its promise to build the Ram temple and that they “expect the government to fulfil its promise within its tenure”.
The current tenure of the Modi government ends in May.
Having made its stand clear, the RSS welcomed Modi’s statement as “a positive step in the direction of temple construction”.