Modi rules out ordinance on Ram temple for now

We’ll take a call after the judicial process is completed, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made it clear that any decision on bringing an ordinance on the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya could be considered only after the judicial process got over. In an interview to ANI, Mr. Modi also suggested that the judicial process was being slowed down because Congress lawyers were creating “obstacles” in the Supreme Court. “We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution,” he said, asked whether the Mandir issue had been sidelined. Recently, there has been a renewed pitch within the party as well as by its sister organisations in the Sangh Parivar for expediting the process of construction. The Sangh Parivar organisations are unhappy over the delay in resolving the matter and there are demands for an ordinance, similar to the one issued on triple talaq, to facilitate construction. The demand has been articulated even by the BJP’s ally, Shiv Sena. Asked whether the government could consider issuing an ordinance, the Prime Minister pointed out that the matter was before the Supreme Court and possibly in the final stages. “Let the judicial process be over. After it is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts,” he said.

Hearing on January 4

The matter will be heard by the Supreme Court on January 4. Petitions have been filed in the court for day-to-day hearing. The Prime Minister was asked why the government could not take the ordinance route for the temple when a similar step was taken to ban triple talaq. Mr. Modi said, “The triple talaq ordinance was brought after the Supreme Court verdict, in the light of the Supreme Court verdict.” He was referring to the ruling in 2017, banning the practice among Muslims. Subsequently, the government issued an ordinance and brought a Bill in Parliament. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and now is before the Rajya Sabha. “Nobody can deny that those sitting in the governments in the last 70 years have tried their best to stall a solution to this [Ayodhya] issue,” Mr. Modi said. He said the Congress should “not create obstacles” and should let the judicial process take its own course. “Don’t weigh it in political terms,” he said. “I beseech the Congress, for the sake of national peace and amity, they should stop its lawyers from stalling this (Ayodhya issue) in the court,” he added. The Prime Minister said all lawyers, including the Congress ones, should head to the court and ensure that there is an early judicial verdict.

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