Lucknow: After creating a ruffle in his own party by saying that the proposed `Ramayana Museum` is a lollipop given by the Central Government to those who want a Ram Temple to be constructed in Ayodhya, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, while underlining the importance of the temple, on Thursday said more than 3.5 lakhs people have laid their lives for it, adding even India-Pakistan battles would not have recorded such loss of lives.
"This is an old issue; it is not an issue that has cropped up today and until Lord Ram`s temple is not constructed, it will go on," Katiyar told ANI in response to a question that how did he perceive the Ram Temple issue gaining momentum in the political circle ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year.
Noting that more than 3.5 lakhs people have laid their lives for the temple, the BJP firebrand politician said, "Even in the battles between India and Pakistan, so many people would not have been killed. So this issue is old, and we have only to discuss measures as to how can be solved it, which is happening."
Dubbing the announcement of the construction of a Ramayana Museum instead of constructing a Ram Temple in Ayodhya as a "big mistake" on the part of the BJP-led Central Government, Katiyar had on Tuesday said this (Ramayana Museum) is a "lollipop" to please the people who are demanding the construction of a temple, while asking the government to intensify its effort to get it constructed there.
"It`s a big mistake; effort should be made to construct the Ram Mandir (temple); this "lolipapi" (handing over Ramayana Museum as lollipop to please the people who are demanding the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya) won`t work. People ask when will be the Ram Temple constructed? This (Ramayana Museum) is a lollipop, it doesn`t have much importance, and thus, they should make positive effort. I would have said this had I been there. It`s good that I did not go there," Katiyar had told ANI.
Katiyar said though he welcomes the step to build Ram Temple but nothing is worth the effort until the Ram Temple is constructed.
He also said that either through dialogue or by the means of legal procedure, all parties should come together to get the Ram Temple constructed in Ayodhya."This is a good step (Ramayana Museum). I welcome it. These will help Ayodhya develop. But till the time they don`t build a Ram temple in Ayodhya, decorating the city does not matter. All parties should come together and build the Ram temple. All parties should sort out the differences through dialogue or through legal means," said Katiyar.
According to reports, the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre is planning to build a museum dedicated to Lord Rama in Ayodhya.
The Union Ministry of Culture is also learnt to have increased the museum grant from Rs 175 crore to Rs 225 crore so that a state of the art museum can come up in the ancient town celebrated in Hindu epics as the seat of Lord Rama`s birthplace and kingdom.