Lucknow | Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Monday said a verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute may be a prerogative of the Supreme Court but a grand temple for Lord Ram will be built.
It will now be impossible to install a single stone bearing the name of Mughal emperor Babur, the BJP leader said, days after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) declared it will not hesitate to launch an agitation for Ram temple at Ayodhya if needed.
“I have clearly said time and again on the issue of construction of a temple in Ayodhya that whenever there is a verdict on Ayodhya, it is the prerogative of the Supreme Court. But a grand temple for Ram Lalla will be built,” Maurya told PTI.
“Now, it is simply impossible to install even a single stone bearing the name of Babur there,” he added.
The 16th century Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by rightwing Hindus who believe it was built on the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Stating that neither the petitioner nor the government can do anything in a matter pending before the court, Maurya said the installation of a grand statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya should not be linked to construction of a Ram temple.
He was referring to Ayodhya Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay statement last week that there is a proposal to install a 151-metre-tall statue of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu river in the town.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to make an announcement on this on the occasion of “Dev Deepawali”, the mayor said.
In Maurya’s view, the matter should be seen as one linked to the development of Ayodhya.
He said building Lord Ram’s statue and the Ram Temple movement are two different issues.
“We feel Ayodhya should be developed, and every devotee of Lord Ram also feels the same. In the past 15 years, there has been no development of Ayodhya. After our government was formed, the development of Ayodhya started. Ayodhya will be developed keeping in mind the devotion and faith which Ayodhya Naath (Lord Ram) commands,” he said.
Hitting out at previous governments, the deputy chief minister said the government has worked to revive things related to the life of Lord Ram such as the Saryu ‘aarti’ and the Deepotsav, which had led to a continuous flow of people from different parts of India and the world into the town.
In a broadside against Rahul Gandhi, he said people of the country are questioning the ‘janeudhari’ (sacred Brahmanical thread) national president of the Congress and are seeking answers.
“On the one hand, he visits various temples only to mislead the people and, on the other, senior leaders of his party urge the Supreme Court not to hear the case until 2019. He must explain his intention behind this,” Maurya said.
Training guns on the Samajwadi Party (SP), Maurya said those whose hands are stained with the blood of Ram ‘bhakts’ (devotees) are talking about constructing a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Saifai.
In August, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav announced that a grand city named after Lord Vishnu would be developed in the state, with a spectacular temple inspired by Cambodia’s sprawling Angkor Wat, if his party comes to power.
Asked to comment on BJP MP Rakesh Sinha’s recent tweets about bringing a private member’s bill for construction of a Ram Temple, Maurya said any MP can bring this bill in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.
On November 1, Sinha said he will bring a private member’s bill seeking construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and asked whether opposition leaders, including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, will support it.
“Will Rahul Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Lalu Prasad Yadav support private member bill on Ayodhya? They frequently ask the date (of Ram temple construction) from RSS and BJP, now onus is on them to answer (sic),” he had tweeted.
Outlining the organisation’s stand on the Ram temple issue, RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi has said Hindus were feeling “insulted” by the Supreme Court’s declaration that it had priorities other than the Ayodhya issue, and insisted on an ordinance if all options run out.