Help us build Ram temple, Gadkari tells Muslims

Indore, February 18: Raking up the party’s pet issue, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today spoke of its commitment to building a “grand” Ram temple in Ayodhya and appealed to the Muslims to “offer a perfect solution” by being generous towards the sentiments of Hindus.

“The BJP stands fully committed for the construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya…Litigation is also pending for resolution of this dispute which may not offer a perfect solution because one party would lose and the other may win.

“Today I appeal to the Muslim community to be generous towards the sentiments and feelings of Hindus and facilitate the construction of a grand Ram temple,” he said in his Presidential Address at the two-day National Council of the BJP here.

Gadkari insisted that if Muslim community made the gesture of building a consensus, it would “herald a new amity and reinforce the bond for a resurgent India”.

This is an indication that with the elevation of RSS candidate Gadkari, 52, to the BJP’s top post, Hindutva and other contentious issues which form the core of the Sangh Parivar ideology may find greater emphasis in its bid to revive after two successive electoral defeats.

Gadkari also mentioned the “big national movement” for the Ram temple that had taken place earlier in which many karsewaks lost their lives.

The Ram temple movement, of which L K Advani’s rath yatra was an integral part, had propelled BJP from two seats in 1984 to power in 1998 (with support of NDA allies).

Since then the party has downplayed this and other pet issues for the comfort of its NDA allies, keeping their sentiments in mind.

BJP has always maintained that if its gets a clear majority on its own in the Lok Sabha it would build the Ram temple at the spot where the disputed Babri Masjid stood. The Masjid was demolished by kar sewaks on December 6, 1992.

Abrogation of Article 370 – which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir – and imposition of a Uniform Civil Code are the other two issues on which most NDA allies do not see eye to eye with BJP.

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