Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked the public to trust the judiciary and asked “some loudmouths” to stop making remarks on the ongoing Ayodhya land dispute case, PTI reported. This is the first time Modi has spoken about the matter since taking charge as the prime minister for the second time.
“I am amazed at the ‘bayan bahadurs and badbole’ [loudmouths] on the Ram Mandir issue,” he said at a rally in the city of Nashik in Maharashtra. “Every one in the country respects the Supreme Court. The apex court is hearing the case. I want to tell these people with folded hands to have faith in the judicial system.”
The top court began daily hearings on the matter on August 6. At the start of the 26th day of hearing on Wednesday, the court said the arguments were likely to conclude by October 18. The five-judge Constitution bench said parties in the dispute were free to use the mediation route simultaneously, even as they continued to hear the matter.
Modi’s remark was apparently directed at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Shiv Sena as the latter has been repeatedly calling for the temple’s construction in Ayodhya. Shiva Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had asked the Centre on Monday to take a “courageous decision” to bring about a law to build the temple.
“The issue has been going on since 1992. How many years should we wait?” Thackeray asked. “We are hearing that the issue is in the final stages in the court. We appeal to the courts to give its decision on the issue.” The Shiv Sena chief also told the Centre to “use its powers” instead of waiting for the court order and take a decision akin to Jammu and Kashmir to build a temple for the deity Ram in Ayodhya.
In June, the Sena chief had visited Ayodhya and asked the Centre to bring in an ordinance for the construction of the Ram temple.
‘A new paradise in Kashmir’
The prime minister asked people to make efforts to create a “new paradise” in Jammu and Kashmir. Modi said the slogan “Kashmir hamara hai [Kashmir is ours]” had changed to “Kashmir banana hai [Kashmir has to be built]”.
“We have to hug each Kashmiri, create a new paradise there,” the prime minister said at the closing ceremony of the “Mahajanadesh Yatra” of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The state is expected to the polls in the next few months.
“We had promised that we will make new efforts to curb the problems in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” Modi told the audience. “Today, I can say with satisfaction that the country has started walking towards fulfilling those dreams.”
The prime minister said the implementation of Constitution in totality in Kashmir was not just the government’s decision, it also fulfilled the aspirations of 130 crore Indians. “This decision was taken to bring out people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from violence, terrorism, separatism, and corruption,” PTI quoted him as saying. “This decision is for the unity of India. This decision is going to be the medium of fulfilling the aspirations and dreams of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Modi accused Pakistan of trying to spread unrest, disbelief, and propagate violence in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Kashmiris, especially the youth, mothers and sisters in the region, were determined to break through the long period of violence and seek development and jobs, he added.
The prime minister also criticised the Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party for their stand on Kashmir. He claimed that their remarks were being used by “enemies at international platforms” and wondered how a veteran leader like NCP President Sharad Pawar had taken a stand against people’s sentiments.
Pakistan reportedly quoted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir and mentioned his visits in its letter to the United Nations. The Congress and Gandhi criticised Islamabad after the episode and clarified that Kashmir was India’s internal matter.
“When the country is united over the decision on Kashmir, Congress and NCP leaders have not cooperated,” Modi said. “I can understand the confusion of the Congress. But Sharad Pawar? I feel bad when an experienced leader like him makes wrong statements for votes. He said he likes the neighbouring country. But every one knows where the terror factory is.”
Last week, Pawar had said Pakistanis were hospitable towards Indians, and alleged that the “ruling class here” was spreading rumours for political gains.
Praise for Fadnavis
The prime minister praised Devendra Fadnavis for reaching out to the public before the Assembly elections.
“Fadnavis provided a stable government with a push for development of the state,” he said. “He worked with complete dedication. It is now Maharashtra’s turn to make use of his leadership qualities. The manner in which I served the state [Gujarat] with commitment and devotion, Fadnavis is also doing the same. Like me, he too will benefit.”
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.