'It's nothing but a lollipop!' Ram museum plans reignite temple row as BJP leaders wade into debate
- BJP’s senior leader Subramanian Swamy said the site is the part of the 2014 manifesto and pushed for resolution
- Plans to construct a Ram museum on the Ayodhya site instead of a temple have come under fire
- The debate has been reignited ahead of the polls in Utter Pradesh
- See more news from India at www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome
18:57 EST, 19 October 2016
18:57 EST, 19 October 2016
BJP’s senior leader Subramanian Swamy has said the site is the part of the 2014 manifesto and it is the party’s obligation to the people to deliver the promise of completing its construction.
He said: “The Ram issue is a part of our manifesto in 2014, how can we run away from it? We have to deliver… The matter cannot be resolved forcibly, but the Supreme Court needs to take some action as the matter is pending since the past six years.
The BJP won elections in UP in 1991 riding the wave of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that demanded a Ram temple be built in place of the Babri Masjid
“Now it’s time for the matter to be heard and disposed off and the Muslim party is also agreeable for the hearing. I am filling an application on this main matter seeking the court to issue a notice to the government,” he added.
Earlier, on Monday, Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, on the other hand, asked the BJP-led Central government to intensify its efforts to construct Ram Temple in Ayodhya instead of a “lollipop” museum.
He said: “It’s a big mistake; effort should be made to construct the Ram Mandir (temple); this ‘lolipapi’ [handing over a Ramayana Museum as ‘sweet’ lollipop to please the people who are demanding the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya] won’t work.
Subramanian Swamy, BJP leader, said it was his party’s duty to deliver on the 2014 manifesto promise
“People ask when will the Ram Temple be constructed? This [Ramayana museum] is a lollipop, it doesn’t have much importance, and thus, they should make a positive effort. I would have said this had I been there. It’s good that I did not go there.”
In an apparent move to woo voters in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday visited Ayodhya to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana museum.
Statements of the BJP leaders run counter to the party’s stand on the issue. The central leadership has been saying that the party will fight elections in UP on the plank of the Narendra Modi government’s developmental works.
Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar said current plans for a museum were a “lollipop”
Last week, the Shiv Sena had asked the government to start constructing the Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, joining other pro-Hindutva leaders in raking up the contentious issue ahead of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP won elections in UP in 1991 riding the wave of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that demanded a Ram temple be built in place of the Babri Masjid.
The BJP has raised the Ram temple issue in subsequent campaigns, but it didn’t yield tangible electoral dividends. The party’s highest score of 221 in 1991 had come down to 88 in 2002.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma visited Ayodhya to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana museum on Tuesday
The downslide continued till the 2012 assembly elections. The party resurrected in a big way in 2014 on Modi’s development plank.
The BJP is attempting to capture power in UP – one of the most politically important states – where it has been out of power for 14 years.
However, the party has so far taken a neutral stand on the issue by refusing to openly speak about the construction of the Ram temple.
Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Uma Bharti also said that Ram temple is not a political issue but a matter of faith.
“Ram Mandir is not a political issue… Ram Mandir is a matter of faith. We need to move forward on the issue on the basis of discussion or on the basis of court’s order. Some people are trying to divert attention,” Naidu said.
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