Only BJP can build Ram temple, says Muralidhar Rao
No party other than the BJP can build the Ram temple in Ayodhya, senior party leader P Muralidhar Rao asserted while describing it as the party's "commitment" in "new India".
"If anyone is capable of doing it (building the temple) as soon as possible, it's the BJP. The people believe that. No other party can build the temple," the BJP General Secretary told IANS, adding the BJP government was moving ahead while keeping in mind "certain decorum and limitations" of the Constitution.
"This is not a religious issue. It's a national issue. It's a question of our culture. Ram is our God, the ideal king. A grand temple must be built at his birth place and we are committed to it," he said.
Insisting that "in the new India, building the Ram temple is our 'sankalp' (commitment) and necessity," Rao said, "people want it to be done early and expect the Modi government to build it quickly. We also want it to be built soon."
Asked what the BJP would do if the judicial verdict was not in favour of the temple, the BJP leader said, "Hypothetical questions are not responded to in politics. We will build the temple 100 per cent. All the obstacles that are in the way will be cleared."
The Modi government has the "wisdom and commitment about what is required to be done," he said.
When asked why the government did not bring an Ordinance on the temple like it did on the triple talaq issue, Rao said an ordinance could not be promulgated when the matter was in the Supreme Court.
"As it (Ayodhya matter) is sub judice, the ordinance can't be brought. That ordinance will not stand," the BJP leader said, adding that in the case of triple talaq, the ordinance was brought after the Supreme Court verdict came.
To a question whether Hindutva was a bigger issue than development for the BJP, Rao said, "Without development, Hindutva is incomplete and hollow. Hindutva is complete when development takes place. Poverty and Hindutva cannot go together. Therefore, in our Hindutva, development is an integral part."
On the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, Rao said the BJP had "several advantages", much more than the 2014 elections, while the Opposition had more "disadvantages".
Explaining these "advantages" for the BJP, he said the Modi factor had got "strengthened" over the last five years and "floating voters" across the country felt that only Modi could provide a strong government that could last full five years.
"Against him (Modi), there is no person. There is a blank. Because of this blankness, the voter feels that in the given situation Modi's track record is better and he should be voted for. This (feeling) became stronger as we moved ahead in these elections," the BJP leader said.
While the Modi government built a narrative of nationalism, and a strong and decisive government, "on the other side, there is a blurred situation", he said.
He added that the BJP had added new voters, including millennials, in every phase, while in the Opposition camp "there is confusion and inconsistency. Also, their track record of corruption is reducing their attraction."
When asked why terrorism continued despite the BJP's claims of Modi providing a "strong and decisive government", Rao said, "Terrorism is a problem for the world, and for India too. It has been a problem during the Congress rule as well as the BJP rule. It still is and will remain in the future too. It is not a question about terrorism, but how decisively you fight it. In that respect, Modi stands apart."
On major terror attacks, like Uri and Pulwama, Rao said, "It is a failure. And it should be addressed. This shows there is a need to further strengthen the intelligence and security apparatus."
He said the Modi government had brought about a "paradigm shift" in the way terrorism is dealt with by ordering air strike on terror camps in Balakot (Pakistan) and bringing India "at par with the US and Israel" in this respect.
"We will not step back in the fight against terror, and just wait (for results) after issuing statements. We can go to the source of terror. We (governments) have been saying this (attacking terror camps) for years but never did. This change was brought about by Modi's leadership and this was acknowledged by the world. The world appreciated, and didn't condemn it," Rao said.
On the controversy over Balakot air strike, the BJP leader said, "It's in nobody's interest to see security issues through the prism of politics. Whichever be the government, the army is of the nation. If the army has said something, then raising question is not in the interest of the nation or the army. Whatever happened, we should believe the army."
On the Opposition charge that the government is politicising the air strike, the BJP leader said, "it was not politicisation. We spoke about the change in policy. We will say it. Why should we not? Did the armed forces go on their own (to carry out the strike)? It was the change in policy direction by the Modi government."
The BJP "will say it" in future too, he asserted.
"To carry out an attack is the role of the army, but somebody has to take a decision. The Modi government took the decision which the previous governments could not. This is the difference and we told this to the public," he said.
Maoism existed in the Congress time too, but now its area of influence "has been shrunk" and incidents too have reduced because of the Modi government's efforts, Rao said. IANS