A senior leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Sunday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not fulfilling its promise of constructing a Ram temple in Ayodhya and demanded the government pass a legislation to bypass courts.
"Those in power today had promised to construct Ram Temple. They should listen to people and fulfil the demand of temple in Ayodhya. They are aware of the sentiments," said Suresh 'Bhaiyyaji' Joshi, general secretary of the RSS, which is regarded as the ideological parent of the BJP.
"We are not begging for it. We are expressing our emotions. The country wants Ram rajya," said Joshi at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, where thousands of Hindu activists have gathered for a rally demanding the construction of the temple.
"We are not engaged in a conflict with any community. Enacting a law is the only option for Ram temple. The movement will continue till the promise is fulfilled," he said.
Hindus want the government to introduce a legislation to pave the way for a temple, said Sharad Sharma, spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a group that organised the rally and has close ties with the BJP.
"It's an issue of faith for millions of Hindus who cannot endlessly wait for a temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
"It will be a massive gathering which will change the hearts of all those who are not in favour of bringing the bill for construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya," VHP's spokesperson Vinod Bansal was quoted by PTI as saying ahead of the rally.
The RSS and groups affiliated to it have asked the government to bring out a bill in Parliament to build a temple, bypassing the Supreme Court.
The calls for a temple come ahead of Lok Sabha elections that must be held by May 2019, when Modi will seek a second term.