PATNA: With the Supreme Court having suggested resolution of the lingering Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya through out-of-court settlement by talks, the Opposition BJP in Bihar on Wednesday sought to draw Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav into the issue.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi urged RJD chief Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to use their influence over Muslims to get them to agree to the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is truly commendable. Now Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav should use their influence over the Muslim community to get them to agree to construction of the Ram temple,” said Modi.
Neither Kumar nor Yadav has spoken on the apex court’s decision since it came on Tuesday. Even after Modi’s statement came, leaders of both RJD and JD(U) refrained from reacting on it.
Since BJP’s thumping victory in UP, BJP leaders in Bihar have been claiming ad nauseam that it is a clear indication that the “politics of minority appeasement” practiced by regional leaders is set to end forever. Both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav carry the formidable image of being secular leaders sensitive to the needs of minority communities. BJP leaders have been depicting such traits as minority appeasement to the disadvantage of majority communities, read the Hindus.
“BJP wants that CM Nitish Kumar and his ally Lalu Prasad Yadav actively help in making Muslims agree to an amicable solution of the Ram temple issue… The Supreme Court’s decision offers a great opportunity to end a long-lingering dispute,” added Modi.
Modi’s appeal to Nitish Kumar was specific and sharper. “The way Nitish Kumar has acted out of the dotted line of politics and supported surgical strike and demonetisation, he can similarly play a historic role by adopting a constructive attitude on the Ayodhya issue,” said Modi.
Sources in JD(U) said BJP, which is keen to ensure that Kumar ditches RJD and allies with BJP, is aiming at extracting a “pro-temple and supposedly pro-Hindu statement” from the chief minister and JD(U) national president that could be added to the list of Kumar’s previous statements in favour of PM Narendra Modi’s decisions.