Referring to the government’s proposal to construct a museum on the Ramayan 15 km from the disputed site in Ayodhya, Katiyar said this was just a ‘’lollipop’’. “We want more than lollipops. We want the Ram Mandir. I have stopped going to Ayodhya and did not go there today either, because I don’t want the sants (religious leader) to ask me again when a Ram Mandir will come up. We are no longer content with placebos.”
Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma had visited Faizabad on Tuesday to inspect the site of the proposed museum, to be built at Rs 225 crore.
Katiyar was one of the leading lights in the Rath Yatra led by L K Advani that culminated in an assault on the structure of the Babri Masjid.
The statements around Ram Mandir might not find favour with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, whose Teleugu Desam Party (TDP) is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, where the BJP is in an alliance government.
The BJP has said in its manifesto released ahead of the elections in 2014 that it would explore all legal means to build the Ram Mandir. The matter is currently being heard in the Supreme Court.
The timing of the statement indicates the Ram Mandir theme would be used by the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh elections.
Sharma said: “I have come here to find Ram and there is no politics in this. I have got a chance to build something in Ayodhya and this is my good fortune. Not everyone gets a chance to serve Lord Ram. Ayodhya will get a grand Ramayan museum.”
Sharma was welcomed by the BJP MLA from Faizabad, Ramchandra Yadav, and called on Mahant Nrityagopaldas, the keeper of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, the primary claimant of the disputed property.
Sharma said: “Over the last 60 years, many have got the chance to serve Lord Rama but no one has done anything for him. Those who seek politics in this can go on looking for politics.”
The proposed museum will be digitally enabled, will have a laser show depicting the story of Ram.