Bhopal: Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati today claimed that a mosque had never existed at Lord Ram's birthplace in Ayodhya and that the structure demolished by right-wing activists in 1992 was a temple.
"A masjid never existed at Lord Ram's birthplace in Ayodhya," the Shankaracharya told reporters here on the Ram Temple-Babri Mosque dispute.
"Kar Sevaks demolished the temple, not a masjid," he claimed.
He said that a grand Ram Temple would be rebuilt at the site once a stay order given by court is vacated.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing the petitions in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
The Shankaracharya also said that corruption poses a "real challenge" for the country.
Politicians, right from the level of village panchayat members, spend huge amounts of money on elections, he said.
"Even for registering a First Information Report, bribe is given to police," he said.
"When I speak against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, I am called a Congressman. I was a Congressman when the freedom struggle was on. Then only the Congress was fighting the British rule. Today, I am a religious leader," he said.
"I am a Shankaracharya. My duty is to safeguard the Sanatan Dharm," he said.