A minister in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that the Ram temple would be constructed in Ayodhya “because the Supreme Court is ours”. The state’s cooperative minister, Mukut Bihari Verma was speaking to media persons in Bahraich district and said, “Construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is our resolve. The Supreme Court is ours. The judiciary, this country and the temple [are] ours too.”
The minister said that though the party has come to power on the “plank of development”, the Ram temple would be constructed because the party is determined to do so, as per the News Agency ANI.
At a time when the case regarding the Ram temple issue is pending before the Supreme Court, the minister has gone ahead with his controversial remarks.
Immediately after making the statement, the minister tried to do damage control and issued a clarification, saying, “[By saying that the] Supreme Court is ours, I mean that we are residents of this country and we believe in the Supreme Court. I never said that it belongs to our government.”
BJP ministers have, in the past, made many statements like these. Earlier, in August, the UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said that the Central government could bring up a legislation in the Parliament in order to facilitate the process of construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He even said that if all options are closed, this could be done once the government has adequate numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
Maurya’s statement came after some religious leaders had demanded that Parliament should make a law in favour of constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Maurya’s statement was criticised by the Opposition.