New Delhi: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Friday, defended Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik comment that a Ram temple should be built here at the site of Babri Masjid as per the "wishes of Indian citizens".
“Is it wrong to be a follower of Ram? Is it wrong to wish for a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya?” said party general secretary Sidharthnath Singh.
The Shiv Sena has also come out in support of Naik. “What is wrong in what Ram Naik said? He maybe the Governor today, but he was active in Ram Mandir movement from start. Ram Naik has 'Ram' in his name so naturally he will be active in the Ram Mandir movement,” party leader Sanjay Raut said.
Expectedly, opposition leaders have hit out against the UP Governor. JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said, “ I request the President of India to remove the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, he has violated constitution.”
“Ram Naik ji is on a constitutional post, he should not give such statements. Everyday BJP people are giving communal comments,” said Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi.
Yesterday, Naik had said, "Ram Mandir should be built as soon as possible. That is the wish of the Indian citizens and the wish should be fulfilled."
Last month, on a visit to Ayodhya to take part in an event organised by a VHP leader, Naik had said that the vexed issue would be resolved within five years as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working out a plan to sort it out peacefully.
"(The) Prime Minister is preparing a plan to work out a peaceful solution to the Ayodhya dispute and it would be solved once and for all within the next five years," Naik had said.
A former BJP MP, Naik was named the UP governor in July this year after the NDA government came to power at the Centre.
Meanwhile, reacting to the remarks by Naik, the oldest litigant in the Babri Masjid case, Hashim Ansari, said, "I have stated earlier that we are ready to come to the negotiation table but before we start talks, the Union government must ensure that the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case must be punished."
He said the trial against them has been lingering for the last 22 years and not a single person has been punished.
With PTI inputs