Lucknow: As the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government plan two separate Ramayana museums in Ayodhya, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Vinay Katiyar on Tuesday termed the museum proposals a lollipop.
Commenting on the Centre's and Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government plan to have a Ramayana Museum in Ayodhya, the fireband leader categorically stated, sincere efforts should be made to build a Ram temple and one should not not hand over a lollipop in the name of a museum.
“We want a Ram Mandir, and nothing else,” the face of the 90s Ram temple movement said adding, “I am not speaking on the issue because of 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.”
When asked to comment on BJP leadership's announcement that development will be the main poll plank for the high-voltage UP polls, Katiyar said, “Development should be there, but a grand Ram Mandir is a must in Ayodhya.”
Launching a scathing attack on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the BJP MP said, the state government is doing nothing regarding the Ram temple, and it is the same government which once killed the 'kar sevaks', who were vouching for the mandir.
The former Faizabad MP, in which Ayodhya falls said, everybody, including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is trying to provide a lollipop in the name of a Ram mandir.
In a direct message to the BJP leadership, Katiyar said, There is a majority in Lok Sabha, the government should bring a legislation to build a Ram temple.
On the stand taken by the NDA, which cites lack of majority in Rajya Sabha for not going ahead, Katiyar said, "Let it be brought in Lok Sabha where the government has thumping majority and then place it in Rajya Sabha and people be apprised of what all the government has been doing to keep its promise of Ram Temple.
When asked why he didn't paid a visit to the temple town, along with Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, he replied: “Wherever I go in Ayodhya, saints ask me when will Ram Mandir be built, so it's good I did not go today.”
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma today visited Ayodhya to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana Museum.
The BJP leader said that the museum will be a part of the Ramayana Circuit for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 225 crore, with Rs 151 crore exclusively for Ayodhya, which is the hub of the circuit.
He said the government has identified three circuits-- Ramayana Circuit, Krishna Circuit and Buddhist Circuit-- to boost religious tourism.
Meanwhile, a source said, the UP government has identified a 25-acre plot for the museum which is some 15 km away from the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex.
Though the BJP has been insisting that Ram temple will not be an electoral plank in the UP elections to be held early next year, the proposed Ramayana museum and related activities are being seen as an attempt to keep pro-Hindutva elements in good humour.
Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia has time and again expressed hope for the construction of Ram Temple.
"We hope that a law will be passed in the parliament for construction of Ram temple during the remaining three years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government,” Togadia had recently said.
While advocating for a the Ram temple in Ayodhya, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on had the construction of a grand mandir will be in the interest of the country.
Earlier, BJP`s Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy demanded a decision on the vexed issue of the Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and urged the government to make a statement on the day-to-day hearing of the case in the Supreme Court.
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