Fractious ally Shiv Sena has baited the BJP again over the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, questioning whether the party's promise is just a jumla (fake promise). With months to go for the national elections, the Sena has joined the chorus of demands for a Ram temple at Ayodhya. The difference -- it has used the issue to target the BJP.
Today, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, "Just like Rs 15 lakh in everyone's account, is Ram Mandir also a jumla?" He said when the party takes up this issue, it will ensure that Ram Mandir is actually built.
"This issue comes up only during the elections and once elections are over, it is forgotten," Mr Thackeray said, expressing an opinion the opposition parties have already voiced. The temple issue gained traction since June when right-wing religious leaders raised the demand in Uttar Pradesh before Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Later Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat called for an "appropriate and requisite" law to facilitate the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Others called for an ordinance or executive order by the government to bypass the legal procedure. The Ayodhya title suit is pending before the Supreme Court, which is expected to say in January when it intends to hear the case.
Shiv Sena leaders earlier alleged that the BJP's reluctance to bring in an ordinance or executive order to build a Ram temple indicates that it is not keen on building the temple. If the NDA government can bring an ordinance on banning instant triple talaq, why not take the same route for the temple, questioned senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
The Shiv Sena is planning to hold a mega rally at Ayodhya on November 25, which will coincide with one by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Mr Thackeray will be in Ayodhya to lead the rally, his party leaders have said.
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