The Shiv Sena on Wednesday reiterated its goal to expedite the process of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya and said it will be constructed soon now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been elected for a second term with a mandate of 303 seats in the national elections.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said crores of people have voted the Bharatiya Janata Party to power so that “Ram Rajya can be established in the country, all with the blessing of Lord Ram”.
“The party with the mindset of Lord Ram has come to power in the centre,” said the editorial titled Ram’s work will be done. “Crores of people have voted them to power so that Ram Rajya can be established in the country, all with the blessing of Lord Ram. Ram is the identity and pride of this country.”
“Many karsevaks sacrificed their lives to build the Ram Mandir,” the editorial added. “Their sacrifice will not go in vain, a government with such thoughts has been chosen by the people. With them coming to power, Ram’s work will definitely be done.” It compared Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 to that of the Hindu god’s “Rajyaabhishek” or coronation ceremony.
The editorial added that the Supreme Court should take into account the feelings and the mandate of crores of Indian voters and allow permission to begin the construction of the Ram temple.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena won the elections because of “the blessings of Lord Ram”, the editorial said. It also criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for attacking those who chanted the god’s name. “Amit Shah kept hailing the Lord in Bengal which resulted in BJP’s victory in the state, this is a moment of great joy,” the editorial said.
In the BJP’s election manifesto, the party had said it would “explore possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and take necessary steps to expedite construction of Ram temple”.
Shiv Sena had repeatedly called for the construction of a temple at the disputed land in Ayodhya. It was also one of the most strident demands from Hindutva groups in the run-up to the elections. In its alliance with BJP, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said that he made “peace” with its ally for the larger “Hindutva agenda”. Shiv Sena had often criticised the BJP in the last five years before forming an alliance with the ruling party ahead of the elections.
In the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, the BJP won 23 seats and Shiv Sena 18 of the state’s 48 seats. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party won four and Congress managed to bag just one seat.
The Ayodhya land dispute is currently under deliberation by a mediation panel, which has to come up with a decision by August 15. Retired Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla is the head of the panel, which also includes spiritual leader Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
The land in Ayodhya has been disputed for several years now, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to it. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ordered a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva activists. The court divided the land equally between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram Lalla.