On a day the BJP's ideological mentor RSS threatened to launch an agitation for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, an ally of the party in Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Rajbhar, said the clamour was an "election drama" played out every time when the polls approach.
"Whenever elections are near, the issue of the Ram temple crops up," said the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief, who holds a ministerial post in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet.
Mr Rajbhar, who has an uneasy relationship with the BJP leadership in the state, said nobody remembers Lord Ram after the elections.
"Whenever the elections are near, the issue of Ram temple crops up. When there are no elections, no one remembers Lord Ram... this is election drama," Mr Rajbhar said.
The comment seems to be going against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's stance on the issue. He had last month said the temple issue was connected to the sentiments of people, which should be respected.
Yogi Adityanath also said he would prefer early hearings in the Ayodhya land dispute.
A section of the Hindu right wing and even some members of the BJP have demanded a law or an ordinance to enable the construction of the temple before the Supreme Court pronounces judgment in Ayodhya case.
Mr Rajbhar said the parties would have to sit together and resolve the issue or wait for the Supreme Court verdict in the case.
A top RSS leader on Friday warned that Hindus will not shy away from launching a 1992-like mass agitation if a Ram temple was not constructed in Ayodhya soon. "Avashyakta padi tho karenge (we will do, if needed)," RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi told mediapersons after the conclusion of a three-day national executive body meeting of the organisation in Maharashtra's Thane district.
With inputs from PTI
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