Vijay Goel calls for making Ram temple at the 'earliest'
Joining the chorus for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Union minister Vijay Goel Friday said it should be done at the earliest through any mean -- constitutional, legislative, judicial or community dialogue.
The Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs claimed that the building of the temple is a "matter of faith" for "crores of people" and ways should be found to "amicably resolve" the issue to pave the way for its construction.
He said a campaign, 'Ek Diya, Ram ke Naam', will be launched Saturday, seeking to promote the bid for the construction of the temple in Ayodhya.
He also took a dig at Congress saying, if its president Rahul Gandhi is also visiting temples, "the party should not have any objection to it (construction of temple)".
"A number of people from different walks of life will converge at my official residence here tomorrow to light up thousands of 'diyas' seeking to send a symbolic message for the building of the Ram temple," he said.
"It is a wish of crores of people that Ram temple should be constructed. So, the temple should be built at the earliest through anyway, be it constitutional or legislation or court or through dialogue between all the parties involved," Goel told PTI.
He said lighting up of 'diyas' is part of the campaign that will go on till November 7, and people can also show support on social media by using hashtag of #JalaoEkDiyaRamMandirKeNaamKa.
Incidentally, a big cutout of a temple has been erected at the main entrance of his residence at 10, Ashoka Road and a mock-up model of a temple on its premises.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, recently said the appropriate bench will decide the future course of hearing in January on the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
As many as 14 appeals have been filed against the 2010 High Court judgement that suggested that the 2.77 acres of disputed land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Many experts have said that the matter should be taken up by the court after 2019 elections, as it might affect the voters.
"Elections keep happening...and the delay is from the court's side, not the government side," he said.
His remarks came on a day, when the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said Hindus were "insulted" by the apex court's observation that Ram temple is not a priority.
Goel said under the campaign, BJP workers will light a lamp at their homes dedicated to Lord Ram. He also appealed to people to light a lamp dedicated to Lord Ram this Diwali, the festival of lights.
The minister's demand for early construction of the temple came just a day after his party MP Rakesh Sinha had announced that he would bring a private member's bill on this issue in Parliament's upcoming Winter Session.
Goel said if the opposition feels it is a political issue, they should end it, once and for all, by allowing the construction of the Ram temple.
Goel is perhaps the first Union minister to suggest legislative route for the construction of the temple.
The Visva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have demanded an ordinance to acquire land for the temple in Ayodhya.
(With inputs from agencies.)