Mumbai: Welcoming RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on construction of a Ram temple during his lifetime, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said he should announce a date for its commencement.
"We welcome the stand taken by Mohan Bhagwat on the issue. He should now announce a date for the commencement of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya to give an impetus to the issue.... If a temple cannot be built there despite the bloodshed that happened over the issue, what about the hundreds of people who sacrificed their lives for the cause," the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
It said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the "courage" to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya and that his popularity will only increase once he takes the issue in his hands.
"To show that it is not only the minorities who are pampered by the government, construction of a Ram temple is a necessity.... If it is not built now, it can never be built," it said.
"This issue cannot be prolonged anymore. It needs to be finished now. The blood that has been shed over the issue should not be disrespected," the Sena, which is an NDA constituent, said.
The editorial also alleged that those demanding the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya are today being targeted and treated like the terrorist Ajmal Kasab.
Expressing hope that the proposed Ram Mandir will be built at Ayodhya in his lifetime, Bhagwat had earlier said it needs a careful planning.
"The temple will be built within my lifetime. May be, we will see it with our own eyes. None can say when and how the temple will be constructed, but we need to be prepared and ready," Bhagwat said while addressing a programme in Kolkata to pay tributes to brothers Ram Kothari and Sharad Kothari who were killed in police firing while performing the kar seva at Ayodhya in 1990.
"We need to plan it carefully. A good mix of `josh` (passion) and `hosh` (sanity) is needed to complete the work which Ram and Sharad had initiated," he added.
However, the Shiv Sena had earlier warned the RSS to not politicise the issue and to announce the date of the construction of the temple right away.
"We also want that the Ram Mandir should be constructed but they should give a definite timeframe for the same. The elections in Uttar Pradesh are approaching. If the Ram Mandir is made a political issue, the people won`t forgive us. The people should not be deceived on this matter," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said.
(With Agency inputs)