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No progress on Ram temple, but we do not doubt govt's intentions: VHP

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday said there was no reason for it to doubt the Narendra Modi government's intentions on the Ram temple issue.

The organisation, which is spearheading the movement for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, however, also said that there was no progress on the issue since the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre.

"In the last four-and-a-half years, no headway was made for the construction of the Ram temple, which has led to resentment among people," VHP international president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje said.

"We are also angry about this, but we do not have any reason to doubt the intentions of the Centre on the issue," he told PTI.

The former high court judge added that "we cannot say that the Centre is not constructing the temple deliberately or it does not have the intention to do so".

He had learnt that the government had received legal advice that if it brought an ordinance or a law to pave the way for the construction of the temple, it could be challenged in the court, Kokje said.

"It may further delay the resolution of the Ayodhya dispute," he added.

Kokje also said the BJP was the only party which was a "well-wisher" of Hindus and which supported the cause of the Ram temple.

Asked if the issue was being raked up in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said, "The BJP will not gain anything from going back on its assurance to Hindus on the Ram temple issue. But if the construction begins during its current term, then it will definitely get electoral benefits."

Kokje added that some people were creating obstacles in the way of hearings in the Supreme Court in the matter and therefore, the chances of the court's verdict coming before the polls were bleak.

The Supreme Court on Sunday cancelled the January 29 hearing in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case as a member of the five-judge Constitution bench would not be available.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.