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PM Modi, in Election Year, Says Ordinance on Ram Mandir Only After SC Ruling

PM Modi, in Election Year, Says Ordinance on Ram Mandir Only After SC Ruling

The court is scheduled to take up the hearing on January 4.

New Delhi: In his first interview, after the BJP’s loss in five assembly elections and before the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clarified that his party will not bring an ordinance on the issue of Ram Mandir while the matter is being heard in the Supreme Court.

When asked why his party did not hesitate to bring an ordinance on the issue of Triple Talaaq but hasn’t taken the ordinance route in case of Ram Mandir, Modi said, “Ordinance on triple talaq was brought after the SC verdict. We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this (Ayodhya) issue under Constitution.”

Contradicting the stand made by the Prime Minister, senior BJP leader and a petitioner in the case, Subramanian Swamy made it clear that he is for the ordinance on Ram Mandir, and the government doesn’t need to wait for the Supreme Court judgment.

Swamy said, “Ordinance is not the unanimous demand of the party. My opinion is the prime minister does not even have to consult the Supreme Court and he can hand over the land tonight for the VHP to build the temple.”

While clearing his party’s stand on the issue, PM Modi also reiterated a charge against Congress - of politicizing the issue and deliberately trying to delay the SC verdict.

He said, “I beg to Congress, for country's security, for communal harmony, they should not allow their lawyers to set hurdles in the case. The case should take its own course. We should all work towards seeking an early verdict. After the verdict we will take necessary steps.”

It was while addressing an election rally in Gujarat, in December 2017, that Modi had trained guns on the Congress after its party leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal asked the Supreme Court to defer hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi case considering “very serious ramifications” till after the 2019 general elections, while arguing the case for the Sunni Waqf Board.

The PM’s statement on the issue of Ram Mandir comes at a time when the RSS chief and deputy chief have publicly demanded ordinance for the construction of Ram Mandir.

While RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, in his Vijayadashmi speech, had said that the government should pass a law to authorise the building of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya rather than “test the patience of the society”.

RSS number 2 ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi had, while attending a huge rally organised by the VHP in Delhi last month, said, “There are circumstances in which people begin to be doubtful about the judiciary... It is the duty of Parliament to pave way for the construction of Ram Temple...We are not begging.”

While the VHP hasn’t released a statement on the issue, till the time of publishing this story, hundreds of religious leaders and seers have threatened to bring about the fall of BJP government if it doesn’t bring an ordinance on the issue.

The BJP has repeatedly promised to construct Ram Mandir in its manifestoes, not just in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but in the ’17 UP assembly polls as well, promising to “explore all possibilities within the purview of the Constitution to construct a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya”.

Senior party leaders have been issuing mixed signals on the route BJP prefers for early construction of Ram Mandir.

While party general secretary Ram Madhav claimed, “Option of ordinance has always been there…We are hoping the SC will take it in fast-track way and conclude it early. If that’s not going to happen, we'll explore other options,” in an interview given to ANI last week.

Another general secretary, Kailash Vijayvargiya, had said last month that BJP was not thinking of bringing an ordinance "as of now" for construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

The SC is scheduled to take up the hearing in the case on January 4.

In 2017, when the court had started to hear the appeals after a hiatus of over seven years, senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal had suggested it to adjourn the hearings till after the general elections in May 2019.