Won't fall into Ram temple trap: Opposition

Won't fall into Ram temple trap: Opposition

Visitors look at chiseled slabs of stone for a Ram temple at Kar Sevak Puram workshop in Ayodhya on Monda. PTI file photo

With the BJP ramping up the Ram temple rhetoric, the Opposition is cautiously approaching the issue as it does not want to "fall into the saffron game plan" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Several Opposition leaders feel that the latest push for the Ram temple in Ayodhya at a time the Supreme Court is seized of the matter is part of a plan to draw them into a duel where their stakes are not at the highest.

The thinking in the Opposition is "not to fall into the trap" and "it realises" that their responses would "only feed the Sangh Parivar's communal polarisation efforts" before the Lok Sabha polls.

Over the past couple of weeks, especially after the Supreme Court set a January date for deciding on hearing, the RSS-led Sangh Parivar has been raising the pitch over the building of Ram temple in the disputed site in Ayodhya.

While the RSS and other affiliates have demanded ordinance route for building the temple ahead of elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has renamed Faizabad district after Ayodhya while he also announced the building of a grand Ram statue in the holy town.

The Opposition has also not lost the significance of the criticism of the Supreme Court by the Sangh Parivar and BJP chief Amit Shah on the delay in hearing the Ayodhya case as well as the Sabarimala issue. The RSS even held a press conference recently on the Ayodhya issue.

A senior Opposition leader told DH, "we know the BJP is on the backfoot. The latest sign is the Karnataka bypoll results. They are trying to provoke us by asking us where we stand on Ram temple. That is deliberate. Whatever we say could put us in trouble. We will focus on exposing them."

The Opposition parties want the process in Supreme Court to complete rather than rushing into the issue.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said it showed the BJP-RSS combine is "jittery" and "desperate." He said the Karnataka results showed that there is anger among people and the BJP knows that they are losing it.

“They have stopped talking about development. For them, Lord Ram is not religious but just political tool. Hindutva is a political ideology which has nothing to do with religion,” he said.

JD(S) General Secretary Danish Ali told DH that the Sangh Parivar is raking up the issue as a "cover up" of the failures of Modi government.

In its response, Congress has dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring an ordinance to build the temple while maintaining that the apex court is seized of the matter.

The CPM has, in a statement, said alarming statements are being made by the RSS-BJP leaders and Central Ministers are threatening to "create a 1992 situation" that led to the demolition of Babri Masjid. "The effort to consolidate the Hindutva communal vote bank in the run-up to the elections, apart from seeking to divert people’s attention away from the all-round failure of the Modi government, poses grave dangers to our country’s unity and integrity," it said.