Politics

Modi government should show courage and start Ram temple construction: Shiv Sena

The Narendra Modi-led government should “demonstrate courage” and start the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, BJP ally Shiv Sena said Sunday.

If the Muslims agreed to allow construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, it will end the vote-bank politics, said the Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut in an article in the party mouthpiece “Saamana”.

The Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is pending before the Supreme Court.

Raut, the executive editor of “Saamana”, said the fear that there would be riots if the construction of Ram temple began in Ayodhya was baseless.

“The Narendra Modi government should demonstrate some courage and commence Ram Temple construction by issuing an ordinance,” he said.

Raut argued that there have been instances of razing of mosques even in Islamic countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

“This truth should be accepted by the Muslims who wish the Babri mosque to remain as it is. The day this takes place, it will be a big blow to the vote-bank politics,” he said.

He also quoted BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to allege that the saffron party may play the Ayodhya card to win the Lok Sabha elections.

“Swamy had said the country is going through difficult times. The Modi government has failed, but they will win the elections by playing the Hindu card,” Raut said.

“Swamy is hinting that either there will be a low-intensity war with Pakistan or some issues (would be raised) that would lead to communal tension. Construction of Ram temple is a key and sensitive issue,” Raut said.

If Indian Muslims decide to end the Babri dispute before 2019, it will be “a new dawn for India”, the Sena leader said.

Some Muslim leaders have supported the construction of temple at the site, Raut said, adding that the issue should be resolved outside the court.

The BJP is citing the litigation over the issue as a roadblock for the Ram temple construction, he said.

“This religion-centric issue has caused enough bloodshed and nobody wants its recurrence. Despite a strong mandate in the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh, BJP-led governments are not uttering a word about it (building the temple),” Raut said.

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