Ahead of 2019, BJP leaders talk about Ram Mandir, again
In the last two days, the construction of Ram Mandir has taken center stage in politics once again. Pacifying seers in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the temple will be constructed before 2019 general elections and they shouldn't doubt Bharatiya Janata Party's intentions. On the sidelines of his comment, BJP leader Uma Bharti has said she can't wait anymore.
In 1992, Babri Masjid was demolished by Hindu groups
In December 1992, hundreds of right-wing activists attacked the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. At the center of this decades-old controversy is Hindu groups saying it was the birthplace of Lord Ram, and a mosque can't exist there. The case is sub-judice in Supreme Court after no consensus was reached over the years. The apex court said it would see it as a land dispute.
Ram Mandir has been BJP's favorite topic for years
Over the years, Ram Mandir has served as BJP's pet agenda with its allies pressing for its construction. Last year, in Rajasthan, Amit Shah said the Ram Mandir will be constructed legally and there should be a mutual dialogue. Considering general elections aren't far, BJP leaders chorusing the Ram Mandir issue can be seen as a strategy to not disappoint traditional Hindu voters.
Notably, former BJP MP said they don't need SC's approval
On Monday, angry seers asked Adityanath about the reason for delay when BJP is in power at both Centre and UP. They even warned BJP won't return to power if the promise wasn't fulfilled. Further, former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti hinted they don't need SC's approval for temple's construction. "We must keep maryada in mind," CM Adityanath said, as he requested key-players to stay patient.
Now, Uma Bharti said she can't wait any longer
Uma Bharti, who along with LK Advani and MM Joshi was framed for conspiracy in Ram Mandir debate, said on Tuesday she can't wait for construction of the temple. Speaking in Ayodhya, she said, "I am not among those who have patience. I want the Ram temple to be built as soon as possible." She called Ram Mandir a matter of 'national pride'.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA warns of war if temple not constructed
In another news, BJP's controversial MLA Raja Singh from Hyderabad threatened he would start his own party and leave BJP if temple is not constructed before 2019. Speaking about a war, Singh said he wanted the temple even at the cost of development. "After Ram Mandir's construction, we will move on to Kashi and Mathura where Mughals constructed many mosques by breaking down temples," he reportedly said.
Separately, Modi slammed Congress for linking Ram Mandir and 2019
Notably, PM Narendra Modi had in December 2017, asked Congress to not link Ram Mandir to general elections. He lashed out at Kapil Sibal for suggesting Ram Mandir hearing should be postponed till 2019. He tweeted everyone wanted a time-bound solution. Considering BJP leaders' statements on Ram Mandir, it looks like the dispute will be widely discussed before India goes to vote next year.