Is BJP planning big on Ram temple issue?

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s mega pitch asking people to “start preparing for Mandir” has not taken anyone by surprise but it has, indeed, reinforced a growing perception that the BJP is set to make a big move on the Ram temple construction front.

The idea is also strengthened by the sudden spurt in action/reaction on the issue by different players of competitive Hindutva politics.

So, if Adityanath-led BJP, which could be facing a tough battle in Lok Sabha elections from the combined might of SP and BSP, gave a clarion call to build Ram temple in Ayodhya, NDA’s friend-foe-friend Shiv Sena, not willing to be left behind in the Hindutva race against a somewhat resurgent BJP in Maharashtra, on Saturday categorically said court cannot solve the Ram temple dispute as it is a matter of faith.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said if a law facilitating Ram temple construction is not made today, it will never be. “Today, we (NDA) have majority; we don't know what will be the situation after 2019 elections,” he said, insisting that solving Ram temple row is a matter of willpower, which Modi government can do.

Raut was echoing the aggressive Ram temple pitch of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who at a Dussehra event in Mumbai said that the Sena is saddened that Ram Mandir has not been constructed yet and announced his plan to visit Ayodhya "with a saffron flag in hand" on November 25.

The clearest indication that some movement on Ram temple is in the offing came when RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, in his annual Dussehra speech on Thursday, batted for the enactment of a law to construct the temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

The message was not lost and Congress leader and former Law Minister Kapil Sibal was quick to attach political motive to the move. In a tweet on Friday, he ridiculed Bhagwat’s remarks in Delhi in September that RSS, since its inception, had kept away from party politics.

RSS at helm

“Really? Ram never lied; before every election demand for Ram temple! 2013 slammed UPA for depreciating Rupee, fiscal deficit and CAD. In 2018 mum on these issues! RSS running country!” Sibal tweeted.

NCP also said RSS' demand shows it lacks faith in the judiciary.

The build-up for Ram temple gained momentum when the steering committee of Hindu saints, Ucchadhikar Samiti, in the first week of October met in Delhi and upped the ante by asking the government to bring a law or ordinance to achieve the objective.

Govt silent

However, the government has not made any statement indicating that it is really keen to bring legislation for building Ram temple outside the purview of the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya matter.

But clearly, the pot has been kept boiling.   VHP has lined up a series of events in Ayodhya in October and November. Watch this space!

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Is BJP planning big on Ram temple issue?

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