Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya ratcheted up the political temperature, saying no one would want a structure named after Mughal emperor Babur in Ayodhya.
A day before the Supreme Court decides on the date and composition of the bench to hear the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya ratcheted up the political temperature, saying no one would want a structure named after Mughal emperor Babur in Ayodhya.
“We are hopeful that the top court will provide a solution to the issue which is a matter of faith for millions of people. If courts and consensus fail, the option of bringing in legislation on the construction of temple would be taken,” he said in Lucknow on Sunday.
Earlier this month, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Mohan Bhagwat called for a legislation for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“I think no one would want a Babri structure in Ayodhya for sure. As a responsible government, we will respect the sentiments of the people… As of now, our hopes rest on the court,” Maurya added.
His comments come a day after chief minister Yogi Adityanath told a gathering in Delhi: “If Supreme Court can give a judgment on Sabarimala, it should also give its order in Ram temple case. I request the court to do so.” Last month, the top court struck down a decades-old custom barring the entry of women of reproductive age into the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala.
Several saints in Ayodhya have also started special prayers in temples for an early resolution to the dispute.
The Ayodhya dispute has sprung back into focus in the past few months as 2019 general elections loom. Some experts say the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning a repeat of the early ’90s, when the party rode to power in UP on the back of the Ram Temple movement.
“One of the major concerns of the BJP is that it is going into the 2019 elections without a convincing answer on the temple issue in case the verdict gets delayed. This is why the party wants to be seen making an extra effort to convince the masses that they are for temple and have their plans in place even in case of an adverse verdict,” said Athar Hussain from the Lucknow-based Centre of Objective Research and Development.
The Congress accused the BJP of politicising a sensitive matter. “Unlike the Congress, which believes in court, the BJP and its leaders appear more interested in engaging in politics on almost every issue. Instead of waiting for the court verdict, they are busy making their own assessment to keep the temple issue burning. But people are clever enough to see through their games,” said Deepak Singh, a Congress leader from UP.