Uma Bharti calls for 'positive atmosphere' to settle Ram temple dispute
Union minister Uma Bharti Tuesday said a "positive atmosphere" should be created for bringing an ordinance on the Ram temple construction at Ayodhya and blamed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for "vitiating" the atmposphere.
The BJP leader, who rose to prominence during the Ram Janmbahoomi movement in the 90s, said the Ram temple issue should be discussed with all political parties. "This (Ram temple) matter should be discussed with all political parties as court said that it (construction of the temple) is a matter of a dispute of land and not a dispute of faith," she said.
On demands by Hindutva bodies for an ordinance on the Ram temple construction, Bharti said, "A positive atmosphere has to be created for bringing in the ordinance, but (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi has created too much of a negative atmosphere.
"(Congress leader) Kapil Sibal had intervened in the (Supreme) Court and said the case (hearing of Ayodhya title suits) should not be heard (till 2019 elections are over)," she said. Bharti said the Congress has to take an initiative to create an atmosphere for bringing such an ordinance.
"The government would initiate a dialogue on the (ordinance) issue, but whether the people of the country would accept it, welcome it.....Now it is the responsibility of the Congress to create this atmosphere because it had vitiated the atmosphere," she said. Bharti said she would be leaving for the Himalayas and embarking on a pilgrimage along the Ganga river for the next one-and-a-half years by "leaving power".
"There is no need for any agitation on the Ganga (river) and the Ram temple (as) we have (Uttar Pradesh chief minister) Yogi Adityanath in the state and Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) at the Centre. Referring to the Allahabad High Court ruling, Bharti said, "In 2010, the three-judge-bench clarified that a dome situated in the middle (of other domes on the disputed site) belongs to Ram Lalla (infant Ram).
"On the day of that verdict, the agitation (the Ram temple movement) became successful. The verdict proved that the site was the birthplace of Lord Ram. The only question remaining now is the construction of the temple," she said.
The three-judge bench had ordered that the 2.77 acres of the disputed land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among three parties: the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. As many as 14 appeals were filed against the HC ruling in the Supreme Court, which fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute cases for January next year before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.
Bharti said she has been involved in work related to the Ganga river since 2011. "In 2014, I was given the charge of Ganga Ministry. We have spent two years preparing a plan because this ministry didn't exist earlier. In two years (after 2014), the plan became implementable with the help of the PMO and Finance ministry," she said.
Bharti said the Ganga river is among the 10 most polluted rivers in the world, especially the stretch in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh which she said is "very dirty". "We have established hybrid (water) treatment plants at Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi and Mathura. By 2024, the Ganga river will become 'nirmal' (clean) and will flow smoothly," she said.
(With inputs from agencies.)