Unnao (UP): Controversial BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj today declared the Ram temple at Ayodhya will be built under the Centre’s BJP government, which has “four more years to go”, drawing sharp criticism from opposition Congress.
“If Ram temple is not built under BJP rule, will it be constructed under a Congress dispensation? Will (SP chief) Mulayam or (BSP leader) Mayawati build it?
“It is certain that Ram Mandir will be constructed under the BJP rule. If it is not built today, it will be built tomorrow or the day after. We have completed just one year in power, four more years are to go,” he said.
Sakshi Maharaj’s assertions came even as a top VHP leader said that Modi government has come to power not only for ushering in development but also to deliver on the core saffron agenda, including building a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya.
“The mandate which the BJP got in the last general election was not merely for development. People expect that they will address the core issues too,” VHP spokesman and national general secretary Surendra Jain said.
The Modi government, he said, should be prepared to “face the consequences” like the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA dispensation if it does not deliver on core issues.
“People want their aspirations (of building Ram temple) fulfilled. Vajpayee government failed to fulfil this aspiration and was voted out. BJP will not like to repeat the mistake,” Jain told PTI.
He said VHP, which had constituted a panel of senior Sants for negotiations to “find a way forward” for construction of the temple, was confident that Modi will resolve the issue.
“How can one stand by Babur, who was an invader. No nationalist can beecome the follower of an invader. This has to be understood by that section of the society too,” he said.
Sakshi Maharaj, BJP MP from Unnao, said he was a product of the Ram temple movement and will back political parties which supported their agenda.
BJP had supported our (temple) agenda. We thank them for that. BJP had to lose its governments in four states. If BJP can sacrifice its four governments (for the cause of the temple), we should not doubt their intentions,” Sakshi Maharaj said.
Reacting to his statement, senior Congress leader P C Chacko demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify whether he endorsed the BJP MP’s views.
“What is the agenda of the government is what we are interested in, whether the government is serious about development or are they just interested in RSS’ communal agenda. This is something the PM should clarify.
“Sakshi Maharaj and others like him are propagating the communal agenda of RSS. Whether the government endorses that, this is what the people want to know,” he said.
Senior Congress leader and Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia said Ram temple was just a “political issue” for BJP which they flagged for electoral benefit.
“In reality, they were never interested in it. If Ram temple is built, they will lose an electoral plank,” he said.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said,”What RSS says, Sakshi Maharaj says too. They are communal people…they are communalizing the society.”
Senior Congress leader and 9-term MLA from UP Pramod Tiwari, described Sakshi Maharaj’s statement as an attempt to “divert people’s attention from failures of the Modi government”.
Responding to opposition’s criticism, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, Ram temple was not a political issue for his party “but a matter of faith”.
“There are two ways of resolving the matter. First, by the Supreme Court where the matter is pending. Second, through talks and negotiations which are on,” he said, adding “crores of people have faith that temple will be built there”.
“We (Hindus) have won the case and, in its 2010 verdict, the Allahabad High Court has said the Babri Action Committee has failed to prove its case and accepted the plea of Hindus that a temple existed at the spot,” he said.