LUCKNOW: Opposition parties and Muslim leaders Thursday said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's demand for a law to enable construction of Ram temple was "politically motivated" as it comes ahead of assembly polls in some states.
In his customary Dussehra address to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadres at its headquarters in Nagpur on Thursday, Bhagwat had said that the Ram temple was necessary from the "self-esteem point of view" and it will also pave way for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness.
"The statement on Ram temple given by RSS chief is a political statement before the upcoming elections," Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI here.
"The RSS has not desisted from using the names of gods for political means and this statement proves their intentions in this regard once again," Chaudhary added.
Congress spokesman Anshu Awasthi said it was now an open secret that whenever the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) speak about Lord Ram it should be understood that elections are around the corner.
"In the over four years of their government they failed on all fronts, even the promise of bringing Ram Rajya was not fulfilled," Awasthi said.
"Now they are out to raise the name of Ram shamelessly at election time to serve their political interests," Awasthi added.
Backing the opposition parties, rector of Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal, Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangimahli said even a child in the country knows that the Ram temple issue is raised by the RSS-BJP every time before elections.
When the issue of triple-talaq can be raised in Parliament with fanfare, why was this matter not debated till now, Farangimahli, who is also a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said.
Since there is a rule of law in the country and the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, raising such a demand is against the law, he said.
It is in the interest of all that the decision of the apex court is implemented, he added.
Convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee Zafaryab Jilani said Bhagwat had issued similar statements in the past as well wherein he exhorted people to ensure that the temple is constructed before 2019.
Bhagwat is trying to influence the court but I am sure he will not succeed, Jilani who is also a senior lawyer said.
The judges will not be influenced and will act as per the apex court's procedures and law of the land, he added.
He further said that an ordinance cannot be issued for annulment of any order of the SC or the High Court as it is unconstitutional and against the settled law laid down by the apex court. As of now the SC has ordered status quo on the issue, Jilani said.