It is not possible to bring in an ordinance to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya as the Constitution of India does not permit it, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told The Hindu in an interview published on Wednesday.
“Let me categorically tell you today that nothing will happen in this [matter],” the Lok Janshakti Party chief was quoted as saying. The party is a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre. “The government does not belong to either Hindus or Muslims. The prime minister does not belong to the NDA or the UPA alone.”
Paswan further said that when someone is elected prime minister, they swear that Parliament is their temple and that the Constitution is their religion. “The Constitution does not allow an ordinance,” he added.
Hindutva organisations such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena have been demanding that the Centre enact a law to build a temple in Ayodhya as soon as possible.
The demands arose after the Supreme Court on October 29 adjourned the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid land dispute case to January. The court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging a 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict that ordered a three-way division of the land in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on which the Babri Masjid stood before Hindutva activists demolished it on December 6, 1992. The High Court divided the land – on which Hindutva leaders want to build a Ram temple – equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram Lalla, or the infant Ram.
The Supreme Court’s decision is final and should be accepted by all, Paswan told The Hindu. “And I believe that it is not just the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which is responsible for this frenzy,” he said. “All of us share some of the responsibility.”
“The BJP may take a certain line since they are in competition with the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena and so on,” he added. “But the issue is not discussed in Cabinet meetings. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has not spoken in support of it.”
While speaking to The Economic Times, Paswan reiterated that building the temple is not on the NDA government’s agenda. “Narendra Modi has said constitution is his religion and parliament is my temple. He has never spoken on Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid. BJP may speak on it but the focus of the government should remain on development and taking all sections of the society together,” he said.