Union minister Uma Bharti on Sunday said people would be “surprised” and “shocked” if no solution was found to the Ram temple issue, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath being at the helm at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh respectively.
Bharti is among the leaders who have been at the forefront of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) efforts to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“When Modiji is the prime minister and Yogiji is the chief minister (of UP), and even then if no way is found for the construction of the Ram temple, then the masses will be surprised as to why were we unable to find a way for (building ) the Ram temple. It will be a shock to the people,” she told reporters here.
Bharti added that the temple had a “major role” in the BJP rising from just two Lok Sabha seats (in 1984) to 84 seats — when the temple movement gained momentum in 1989 — to 284 seats in the 2014 general polls.
“Therefore, with Modi as the prime minister and Yogi (as the UP chief minister), people have high hopes that a way should be found for the construction of the Ram temple,” the Union minister of drinking water and sanitation said.
“Even today I will say this, whether it is an Act or an Ordinance, you have to find an amicable way for the Ram temple. You cannot just do it by bringing an Act for everything. Especially, when there is a lot of opposition in the society.
“Therefore, earlier too I had suggested an amicable solution and everybody should support it. It should not be done like we will oppose you as we are from a particular party. It should begin like you start the talks and we will support you,” she added.
Bharti pointed out that talks on the issue were held during the times of then prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar as well.
Queried on the “waning” Modi wave in the country, she said, “We (BJP) have won the local bodies polls in Tripura and also formed the government there, which was difficult earlier. Therefore, the Modi magic is still going on.”
“For example, in 2003, we had won all the Assembly polls, but lost in the Lok Sabha (2004). It is not necessary that whatever happened in Assembly elections will happen in the Lok Sabha polls as well,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.
On the recent controversy over several leaders giving caste identities to Hanuman, she decried the move saying, “God has no caste and that is god.”
“Similarly, the disciples also have one caste and that is devotion. Therefore, I will say that neither a disciple nor god has any caste. Like the sun, air and water have no caste, similarly, god and the devotee have no caste,” she added.
Asked about former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan calling himself a tiger, Bharti said, “I know him since 1984 and he is a tiger. I will remain firebrand and he (Chouhan) will be a tiger.”
On the recent Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, in which the Congress unseated the BJP government which was in power in the state since 2003, Bharti said it was a “beautiful discrepancy” of democracy that such a thing happened, despite the saffron party garnering more votes than the Congress.
On the government in the state led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath, she said, “We will not do anything to destabilise the new government as we respect the (people’s) mandate. If it falls on its own, then it is a different thing.”
“We will ensure that it will not do injustice with the people’s interest. I also appreciate Chouhan for accepting the verdict gracefully,” the Union minister added.
Asked about the state Congress’s opposition to “The Accidental Prime Minister”, an upcoming film on the tenure of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, she said the party feared that it would get exposed by the movie.
“When no one demanded a ban on the book (written by Sanjaya Baru on which the film is based), how can they stop the film?,” she asked.
Baru was Singh’s media adviser when the latter was the prime minister. Some Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh have demanded a ban on the Anupam Kher-starrer film, which the party has termed a BJP propaganda.
“There is nothing new. Whatever is written in the book is there in the film. They (Congress leaders) are asking for a ban as they fear they will get exposed,” Bharti said.
Singh himself had not objected to the film, she pointed out.