SP leader faces flak for backing Ram temple construction

Samajwadi Party (SP) member of Rajya Sabha Munavvar Salim found himself in the middle of a controversy by declaring his support for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Salim, who is also the party in-charge of Aligarh division, on Tuesday said Ram temple should be built at Ayodhya.

“No one can stop the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya,” he told scribes at Etah, 300 kilometres from capital Lucknow.

“Where will the Ram temple be built if not in India?” he asked, adding that there are several temples for Lord Ram in a Muslim country like Malaysia.

Asserting that the SP is not against building Ram temple in Ayodhya, Salim said: “In fact, it was the SP that adopted the principles of Rama and Krishna...socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia had incorporated them in his principles.”

While Muslim leaders and those from SP reacted strongly to Salim’s remarks, he won praise from Hindu leaders in Ayodhya.

Some supporters
However, Ram Janambhoomi Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das supported the remarks.
“We welcome his remarks...everyone should support Ram temple construction,” the Mahant added.

He said both the Hindus and Muslims should work together to ensure Ram temple is constructed in Ayodhya.

Expressing surprise over the remarks, SP leaders said Salim should not have commented on the issue. “The matter is currently pending in the Supreme Court...we should wait for its judgement,” a senior party leader said here.

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