VHP to back Congress if it includes Ram temple in 2019 Lok Sabha manifesto

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has been making it clear time and again that temple was not at all the part of 2019 Lok Sabha polls narrative for the Congress party.

Published: 20th January 2019 04:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2019 04:54 PM   |  A+A-

Ayodhya, Ram Temple, VHP, BJP

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Just two days after RSS general secretary and Sangh’s second-in-command Bhayyaji Joshi statement over temple construction, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad  (VHP) on Sunday intensified pressure on the BJP government by promising support to Congress if it included temple in its manifesto. However, the VHP leaders have, believably, decided the day of Ram Navami to begin temple construction leaving the final call on saints.

Expressing the chagrin over the delay in temple construction, VHPs’ working vice-president Alok Kumar threw open a challenge to the Congress party to include construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya it in its poll manifesto.

“Let Congress include the temple construction in their poll manifesto, we can consider supporting them,”  He added that the national party would also need to lift the ban imposed on RSS workers and activists over joining the Congress. 

“They will have to lead by precedence. Khali Janeu pahan lene se kuchh nahi hota hai (Sporting just the sacred thread will not do),” said the VHP leader at Kumbh in Prayagraj on Sunday.

On the contrary, the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has been making it clear time and again that temple was not at all the part of 2019 Lok Sabah polls narrative for the Congress party. He has rather been laying stress on issues like development, farmers, youth and corruption.

The VHP leader claimed that the Modi government apparently did not have the intention of bringing a law over temple issue so the construction might not commence before Lok Sabha elections. “We will also be telling this to the seers and saints who will participate in the Dharm Sansad this month end,” Alok Kumar said

Kumar’s statement has come days before VHP’s Dharm Sansad on January 31 during which Right-wing outfits are likely to escalate pressure on the BJP government at the Centre to bring in a legislation for Ram Temple.

However, as per the insiders, the VHP has arrived on a consensus to commence temple construction on Ram Navami (the birthday of Lord Ram) but the final call will be taken by the saints and seers who will huddle to thrash out a strategy over the issue during VHP dharma Sansad at Kumbh. “We will seek blessings from seers and saints in the Dharam Sansad. Only then will we decide our next move,” Kumar said.

However, after speaking to media persons, the VHP leader was seen retreating on his statement saying it was “overstretched” and “misconstrued” by the media. “We have been meeting different political parties in our quest to build a consensus over the bringing a law for temple construction. Let me make it clear that we will be thankful to those who will come around on the issue. We shall request all parties to include this in their manifesto,” said the VHP leader.

The next hearing in the vexed issue will be held on January 29 when a five-judge bench to hear Ayodhya title dispute case will be reconstituted following the recusal of Justice UU Lalit in the Supreme Court.

Two days ago, RSS second-in-command Bhaiyyaji Joshi had said At Kumbh in Pragayraj that the Ram Temple in Ayodhya would come up till 2025, the year of the next Kumbh. The RSS had played down this apparent jibe at the government and BJP, saying Joshi meant the temple would be ready by the next Kumbh.

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