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Ram temple echoes in BJP parliamentary party meet, Rajnath asks MPs to be patient

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present in meeting, nor was party president Amit Shah.

Ram temple echoes in BJP parliamentary party meet, Rajnath asks MPs to be patient

New Delhi: With Hindutva organisations ramping up pressure on the government to bring a law to build Ram temple in Ayodhya, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday asked BJP lawmakers to be patient on the issue.

At the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Ravindra Kushwaha and Hari Narayan Rajbhar, both of whom represent Lok Sabha constituencies from Uttar Pradesh, enquired about the government's stand on the matter, sources said.

Singh, who was addressing the meeting, told them that everyone wants a Ram temple at the site where Lord Ram is believed to be born and asked party MPs to be patient. 

As the two MPs raised the issue, a few others also supported them, the sources said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present in meeting, nor was party president Amit Shah.

Hindutva organisations, including the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, have in the last few months intensified their demand for early construction of the temple, with many of them, including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, pitching for a law to enable it.

Though the BJP has agreed with the sentiments of these organisations, it has so far not come out in support of a law.

The Ram temple land dispute is presently being heard in the Supreme Court.

There is a view within the party that paving the way for the temple's construction will boost its prospects in the Lok Sabha elections.

In his speech, Singh asserted Tuesday that the opposition has no leader to match Modi's popularity and asked BJP MPs to work for the party's re-election in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

After the party suffered defeats in the recent assembly polls in which it lost power in all three states it ruled, it is looking at a tough challenge from the opposition to its bid to return to power at the Centre in 2019.

"We are far ahead of the opposition. Circumstances are very good for us," Singh said, according to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Tomar also told reporters that the passage of the triple talaq bill, which stipulates jail term for Muslim men accused of giving instant divorce to their wives, in Parliament is a top priority for the government.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad briefed party MPs on the Supreme Court's judgement on the Rafale issue, the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in an anti-Sikh riot case besides the triple talaq legislation, Tomar said.