VHP supporters carry a cutout of Lord Ram during ‘Dharma Sabha’, in which thousands of people gathered at Ramlila Maidan to press for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, days before Parliament's winter session commences, in New Delhi. (PTI)
As the Narendra Modi government braced for the winter session of Parliament, which starts on Tuesday, and awaited the results of five Assembly polls, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) number two Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Sunday demanded the government bypass the Supreme Court to bring a law for early construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a ‘dharma sansad’, or religious congregation of Hindu saints, at the Ramlila Ground here as its show of strength. Thousands of Sangh Parivar supporters converged in central Delhi to attend the event. The VHP is affiliated to the RSS, while the Bharatiya Janata Party is a political arm of the RSS.
According to government strategists, the Modi government is currently noncommittal on introducing a Bill. It does not want to enter into a confrontation with the Supreme Court at the current juncture, sources said. However, election results to the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, which will be out on Tuesday, could determine the future strategy of the government, as would the pressure from the RSS.
An aerial view of Ramlila Maidan during VHP's event ‘Dharma Sabha’, in which thousands of people gathered to press for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. (Photo:PTI)
The message from Sangh Parivar was unambiguous. It demanded the Modi government to push through a Bill in the winter session that would pave the way for Ram temple. “Those in power today had promised to construct Ram temple. They should listen to people and fulfil the demand of temple in Ayodhya. They are aware of the sentiments,” Joshi, RSS joint general secretary, said.
VHP International Working President Alok Kumar said the ‘dharma sansad’ was a reminder to the Modi government about its commitment to construct the temple. He cautioned that if a law was not passed in the winter session, the people would express their anger (against the BJP) in the Lok Sabha polls.