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Despite Sangh pressure, Centre unlikely to bring ordinance on Ram temple

It is, however, still unclear if the government might bring in a Bill in the winter session of Parliament for early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Ram statue Ayodhya
Ram statue under construction in Ayodhya. Photo: Sai Manish

While Sangh Parivar affiliates continue to mount pressure on the government for early resolution of the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, some of its key ministers on Monday indicated the Centre was unlikely to bring an ordinance on the issue.

It is, however, still unclear if the government might bring in a Bill in the winter session of Parliament for early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Already, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member has expressed his intent to move a private members' Bill on the subject.

According to sources in the Congress, the party’s legal experts believe the Modi government could bring in a Bill in the Lok Sabha, that would primarily be to assuage the Sangh Parivar's core support base and in the hope to embarrass as well as provoke the and other opposition parties.

“The and other opposition parties have refused to get provoked on the issue. Muslims and their religious leadership have also maintained silence. This has made the BJP and Sangh Parivar desperate. They are looking for an excuse so that the delay in Ram temple construction could be blamed on other political parties or religious communities,” a senior leader, who didn't want to be named, said.

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Strategists in the Modi government on Monday said technically the Centre can promulgate an ordinance on a case currently pending in the Supreme Court, but it would need to change the "premise" of the case. However, the ordinance was sure to be challenged in the court, and this could further delay the hearings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. Their reaction indicated the government may not be considering an ordinance on the issue for the present.

If the Opposition is waiting for the next move of the government, the Modi government is keeping its cards close to its chest, while BJP leaders and Sangh Parivar outfits continue with their calls to have a Ram temple at the disputed site.

On Friday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had said the Hindus feel "insulted" that the Supreme Court has postponed the hearings in the case. On Sunday, a Sant Samiti also asked the Modi government to bring an ordinance or a Bill to pave the way for early construction of the temple.

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 20:36 IST
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