The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Wednesday said it will not wait indefinitely for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and will convene a meeting of its top leaders later this month to discuss the matter, IANS reported.
Alok Kumar, the international working president of the organisation, said the VHP will remind the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party about its election promise on the matter within the first month of its second term.
The BJP, which retained power in the recently-concluded national elections, had promised in its election manifesto to “explore possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and take necessary steps to expedite construction of Ram temple”. The construction of the temple in Ayodhya was one of the most strident demands from Hindutva groups in the run-up to the elections.
“One thing is clear, VHP will not compromise on two issues – firstly, only a temple will be built at the birthplace of Lord Ram,” Kumar told IANS. “And secondly, there can be no mosque within the cultural limits of Ayodhya.”
He said the organisation’s “margdarshak samiti” [guiding committee] will meet in Haridwar on June 19 and June 20 to discuss the matter and pass a resolution, which will then be handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The VHP leader also said, “Work on Ram temple will start in one to one-and-a-half years. I am not conjecturing but telling you as an informed person.”
However, Kumar also said that since the government had taken over just now, there was a need to wait a bit. “We will build pressure on the government. They [Bharatiya Janata Party] also want it to happen,” Kumar said.
On the appointment of a mediation panel by the Supreme Court to settle the dispute, Kumar said: “If they are able to sort it out, then it is good. They have a deadline of August 15. They have said they will do whatever is possible by July-end. We have cooperated with them with an open heart.”
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.