Congress General Secretary Harish Rawat claimed on Friday that his party will try to build a Ram temple if it comes to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections. He also said the Congress is the only party that has taken “serious steps” in the past to build the shrine in Ayodhya, PTI reported.

“My statement on Ayodhya is already in public domain,” the former Uttarakhand chief minister said at a press conference in Dehradun. “I have been saying that if elected to power at the Centre, the Congress will try its best to build a Ram temple there. My stand on the issue should also be considered as the party’s view.”

Rawat also claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had acknowledged at an interaction that it was the Congress that had twice made serious efforts towards construction of the temple. The Congress leader accused the BJP of playing politics over the matter, and urged it to play the role of a facilitator instead.

Rawat said the BJP seemed to think only Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a nationalist. “Why is only Prime Minister Modi being reckoned as a nationalist?” he asked. “I have strong objection to it. Every citizen of India is a nationalist. I am also a nationalist and so are you.”

The Congress general secretary claimed that agricultural growth has suffered under the Narendra Modi-led government. “Growth rate is racing up like the bullet train but agricultural growth rate is at its lowest which is a matter of concern,” he said.