Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made it clear that any decision on passing an executive order on the Ram temple issue cannot be made unless the judicial process is over. The title suit of the disputed site in Ayodhya is pending in the Supreme Court, which is expected to say this week on when it would begin hearing the case.
But there has been a vocal demand from right-wing groups as well as a section of the party and allies like the Shiv Sena, to bypass the legal process through an ordinance or executive order from the government, and begin construction on the disputed site.
Breaking his silence on the matter in an interview to news agency ANI on New Year's day, PM Modi said, "Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts".
"We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution," PM Modi said.
PM Modi also reiterated that it was the Congress which was slowing down the judicial process. "In the court, Congress lawyers, who are creating obstacles, should stop. Let the judicial process take its own course," he said.
"Don't weigh it in political terms... I beseech the Congress, for the sake of national peace and amity, they should stop its lawyers from stalling this (Ayodhya issue) in the court," he added.
The Prime Minister's remarks come days after the BJP allies in Bihar have reminded the party that the temple issue was its agenda and not that of the NDA.
"We are committed to the development in Bihar... We are of the opinion that the Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision," Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said.
Chirag Paswan, son of NDA ally and Bihar leader Ram Vilas Paswan, had suggested that the setbacks the BJP faced in the recent round of assembly elections could be partly due to the over-emphasis on the temple issue, which, he said, dominated the "actual issues" that people face and garbled the BJP's message of development.