“If we don’t start constructing the Ram Mandir, the country will lose faith in us... People will beat us with shoes if we continue postponing the matter,” said Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha leader Sanjay Raut, once again raising the issue of building a temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Insisting that the construction begin at the earliest Raut said, “In 2014 it was our [election] promise to build the temple. We got the people’s mandate, but we did not make the temple. Again in 2019, when we asked for the people’s support, we brought up the matter of the Ram Mandir...Now the election is over, the government is back, so should we forget Ram Lalla and Ayodhya?”

The controversial MP, who is also the editor of Right-wing Dainik Saamna, news mouthpiece of the Shiv Sena Party, has in the past demanded that the President sign an ordinance to start the construction.

An ally of the Bharatiya Janta Party, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has long signalled its support for the building of the temple, an issue that has featured in every Lok Sabha manifesto released by the Bharatiya Janata party since 1996.