New Delhi: The demand for bringing an Ordinance for early construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya grew stronger on Monday within the BJP and various Sangh Parivar outfits, while the Congress called for restraint and awaiting the Supreme Court verdict without linking the issue with vote-bank politics.
Soon after the Supreme Court said an appropriate bench would decide in January when to hear the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute cases, the chorus grew within the BJP favouring early construction of the temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
While RSS spokesperson Arun Kumar said the court should deliver an early verdict and the government should make a law to remove hurdles in the way of giving land for a temple if required, the Sangh's affiliate VHP was more blunt, saying Hindus cannot wait eternally for judicial verdict as it pushed for a legislation.
"With this in view, the Supreme Court should make an early decision and if there are any difficulties, the government should make a law to remove all hurdles in the way of giving land for temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi site," Kumar said.
With the construction of the temple, an atmosphere of unity and harmony will be created, he said, in a repeat of sentiments expressed earlier by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government has full faith in the court and added that a lot of people in the country want that the hearing on the issue should be completed soon.
Earlier in the day, Union minister Giriraj Singh said, "The Congress has decided to make it a Hindu-Muslim issue... Hindus are running out of patience. I fear what will happen if Hindus lose patience."
BJP leader Vinay Katiyar alleged the issue was being delayed "under pressure" from the Congress, which denied the charge.
"The decision is being delayed under pressure from the Congress. People like Kapil Sibal (Congress leader) and Prashant Bhushan (Supreme Court advocate) are pressing for delaying the issue. Till when will Ram bhakts (devotees) wait? In 2019, the Congress will come to know," he said.
His party colleague Sanjeev Baliyan said, "I am surprised at the priorities of the court. I am of the view that the Ram Temple should be constructed. The government should explore all possibilities."
BJP's ally Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the Ram temple is an issue of faith and demanded that the government comes out with an Ordinance soon.
"It is a matter of faith. The court cannot decide on this. The government should bring an ordinance," he said.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, however, said it was a familiar story every five years before the elections when the BJP tries to polarise the issue.
"The Congress's stated position is that the matter is before the Supreme Court and everyone should wait until the Supreme Court decides... We should not jump the gun," he told reporters.
To a question on possibility of an ordinance for construction of the temple, he said the ordinance has to be decided by the government and not by Parliament.
"If someone asks for an ordinance, the Prime Minister has to respond to them, but as you know, he will not respond to any issue," he said.
On allegations by BJP leaders that the delay was under pressure from Congress leaders, Chidambaram said, "The Supreme Court will decide when to hear the case. We don't decide when the court will hear the case."
Another Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "Everyone should patiently wait for the Supreme Court verdict. The Congress party has stated that it will welcome and accept the Supreme Court verdict."
He said religion is a matter of faith and linking this issue to the vote bank politics will be a disservice to the nation.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaddudin Owaisi dared the government to bring an ordinance.
"If they have the courage, they should bring an Ordinance on Ram Temple construction. They are trying to scare us about bringing an Ordinance, why don't they bring it," he said.
VHP working president Alok Kumar said Hindus cannot wait eternally for a court judgement on the Ayodhya land dispute case and asked the government to bring a law for building a Ram temple and get it passed in the winter session of Parliament.
"The Supreme Court has once again adjourned the hearing. This fortifies the VHP's stand that the solution to the Ram Janambhoomi issue is not in eternally waiting for hearing of appeals pending for over seven years.
"We reiterate our request to the Union government to enact a law to clear the way for building a grand temple of Lord Ram at his birthplace in Ayodhya," Kumar said.
The VHP has called a two-day 'Dharam Sansad', a meeting of seers, on January 31 and February 1 next year in Allahabad to discuss the Ram temple issue. BJP chief Amit Shah is expected to attend the meeting.
Earlier this month, the RSS chief had favoured a law to enable construction of Ram temple.
CPI leader D Raja said the matter is sub-judice but BJP leaders are making statements regarding the temple construction through ordinance route. "We are not an autocratic system, democratic institutions should take cognisance of these kinds of statements."
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said the appropriate bench will decide the future course of hearing in January next year on the appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court verdict in Ayodhya land dispute case