'Wait for Supreme Court verdict before deciding on Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,' says Union Minister Ramdas Athawale

Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said the Supreme Court verdict should be awaited before taking a decision on construction of a Lord Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. He said a mosque can also be built at the disputed site along with the temple. Athawale also reiterated his demand that a Buddha 'Vihar' or temple be allowed to be constructed near the disputed site, which would strengthen the national unity.

File image of Ramdas Athawale. Firstpost

File image of Ramdas Athawale. PTI

"Ram Mandir should not be built illegally. Before taking a decision to build the temple, it needs to be seen what verdict the supreme court delivers," said the Dalit leader. He also said the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya title suits, could consider allotting a place for a Buddha temple near the site. "If a Buddha temple, along with a Ram temple and a mosque, is built in Ayodhya, it will strengthen the national unity," the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said in a press conference.

Athawale said he was hopeful that the SC will give justice to both Hindus and Muslims on the issue. The Supreme Court had in October fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute cases for the first week of January 2019 before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing. A three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court had in 2010 ordered that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

As many as 14 appeals have been filed against the high court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. "It is our request that while allotting the space to Hindus and Muslims, the court could consider allotting space for a Buddha mandir," he said.

When asked about the locus standi of his demand, the RPI (A) president said Buddhist relics were recovered in Ayodhya in the past. "If the excavation of the site at the Ayodhya is done, the Buddhist relics can be found. Such relics were recovered in the past as well," he said. Athawale said he would visit Ayodhya where he will talk to leaders belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities to settle the issue amicably.

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Updated Date: Nov 26, 2018 14:49:01 IST

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