Several Hindu groups on Monday demanded for a law to begin construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court said earlier in the day that an “appropriate bench” will decide in January when to hear the politically sensitive case, declining an urgent hearing of the matter.
Observing that the court has its "own priorities", Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the future course of hearing on multiple appeals filed against the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute will be decided by the "appropriate bench" that will be constituted.
"We have our own priorities. Whether the matter will be heard in January, February or March, the appropriate bench will decide," Gogoi said after a brief hearing.
"We will fix the date of hearing of the Ayodhya dispute case before the appropriate bench in first week of January," said the bench, which also comprised Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.
However, disappointed with the order, leaders of the BJP and various Sangh Parivar outfits asked the Centre bring an Ordinance or legislation in the Winter session of Parliament for early construction of the Ram temple at the site, where the Babri Masjid once stood and was destroyed on December 6, 1994, in Ayodhya ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls without waiting for the Supreme Court verdict.
"The Sangh believes that a Ram Temple should be constructed early at the birthplace of (Lord Ram) and should get land for temple construction at the birthplace. With the construction of the temple, an atmosphere of unity and harmony will be created," RSS chief spokesperson Arun Kumar said in a statement.
"The Supreme Court should take an early decision and if there is any difficulty, the government should make a law to remove hurdles in the construction of the Ram temple to grant land at the Ram Janmabhoomi site," Kumar added.
The Shiv Sena also stressed that the Ram temple is an issue of faith and demanded that the government come out with an Ordinance soon.Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a lot people in the country want the case to be heard quickly.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh said Hindus are "running out of patience" on the Ram temple issue, while his party colleague Vinay Katiyar alleged that the issue was being delayed "under pressure" from the Congress, which denied the charge.
"The decision is being delayed under pressure from the Congress. People like Kapil Sibal and Prashant Bhushan are pressing for delaying the issue. Till when will Ram bhakts (devotees) wait In 2019, the Congress will come to know," he said.
However, Congress and Muslim groups wanted all stakeholders to wait for the verdict. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, however, observed that it was a familiar story every five years before the elections when the BJP tries to polarise the issue. Opposing any ordinance, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaddudin Owaisi dared the government to take this route, saying the BJP refers to the Ram Temple again and again.
(With agency inputs)