In Parliament, PM announces trust for constructing Ayodhya's Ram Temple
A grand temple of Lord Rama will be constructed at Ayodhya and a trust named Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Skshetra has been set up for the same, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. In his address to parliamentarians, PM Modi said his government honored the decision of the Supreme Court and the cabinet approved setting up the trust.
After decades, Ayodhya case reached its climax last year
Last year, an SC bench ended the decades-old sensitive case concerning 2.77 acres of land in the temple town. The apex court green-lit the construction of a Ram Temple at the site and ordered that 5 acres of land should be handed over to Muslims for a mosque. In its verdict, the court slammed Babri Masjid demolition but also spoke about the faith of Hindus.
Constructing Ram Temple has been one of BJP's core ideologies
The historic verdict elated BJP, a party that has been calling for Ram Mandir's construction since its inception. In the late 80s and early 90s, BJP fanned the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, with its veteran LK Advani taking out a massive Rath Yatra from Gujarat's Somnath Mandir to Ayodhya. When PM Modi got a ground-shattering mandate last year, pressure grew on him to expedite construction.
Rarely does PM Modi speak at zero hour
In what qualifies as a rare occasion, PM Modi spoke in the Lower House at zero hour and hailed the Ayodhya verdict. He said, "After the verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue came out, the people of India displayed remarkable faith in democratic processes and procedures. I salute the 130 crore people of India." The BJP leader asked for support in constructing the temple.
Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Skshetra will take care of construction
"My government has decided to set up a trust called Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Skshetra, which will take decisions independently on the construction of a Ram temple and related issues," he added. SC had set a three-month deadline for setting up the trust.
67 acres of land has been handed over too
The BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government has also allotted 5 acres of land to Sunni Waqf Board for the mosque. Other than constituting the trust, the government has also decided to give 67 acres of land near the mandir area, PM Modi said. "We want people of all religions and community in India to thrive," he said, amid loud claps from MPs of his party.
A Congress PM acquired land to help devotees
After Babri Masjid's demolition in 1992, the PV Narasimha Rao government passed the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Ordinance, which allowed the government to acquire excess land. The property was acquired to help devotees enter the Ram Temple, if and when it is constructed.
Before verdict, government revealed plans for "excess" land
In January 2019, the Centre approached SC seeking to return the 67 acres of "undisputed" land to the rightful owners — the Mandir trust. This contradicted two earlier statements of the top court wherein it was ordered that the status quo should be maintained to ensure peace and tranquility in the region. Unless the Ayodhya issue is solved, the land shouldn't be touched, SC said.