Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan has said that he does not expect an ordinance on the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had not discussed the matter with its alliance partners, reported The Indian Express on Monday. Paswan’s party is a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
In an interview with the daily, Paswan also said the construction of a Ram temple may be on one party’s agenda but is not so for the National Democratic Alliance or the central government. When asked if his party would oppose an ordinance to facilitate the construction of the temple, Paswan said it was a “hypothetical situation”.
“Our stand is clear – we will abide by any verdict given by the court,” he said. “As for the ordinance, I do not see it coming. The BJP has not yet discussed this with alliance partners. I do not think the government will bring an ordinance on it.”
The Supreme Court had on October 29 adjourned the Ayodhya land dispute case to January, but Hindutva organisations have urged the government to bring in an ordinance instead to facilitate the construction.
Paswan, the son of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, said: “We have clearly said in the NDA meeting on December 10 that we should stick to our development agenda. Some people [are] raising issues like the Ram temple and Bajrangbali [which] only confuses people. Let us wait for the court’s order on it.”
In election rallies last month, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had said that Hindu god Hanuman was a Dalit, and also used a reference to Bajrangbali, a name popularly used for the deity.
On the BJP losing three key states to the Congress in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, Paswan said there was “no reason for disappointment”. He said Chhattisgarh is “surely a matter of concern”, but the BJP still had a “good hold” in Madhya Pradesh despite anti-incumbency.
Paswan said the BJP does face anti-incumbency, but the National Democratic Alliance was “far ahead” and the prime minister was still popular. He reiterated that the Lok Janshakti Party was strongly with the National Democratic Alliance and dismissed rumours of a crossover. He said the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party leaving the alliance will not impact its chances. “The BJP, Janata Dal (United) and LJP are a formidable combination,” he said.