BJP is using Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as a 'pawn' in Ram temple dispute, says SP's Ramashankar Vidyarthi

Ballia: Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, working to find an amicable solution to the Ram Temple dispute, is being used as a "pawn" by the BJP to polarise the Hindu vote bank, a senior SP leader said on Saturday.

With the Supreme Court set to begin the hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya from 5 December, Ravi Shankar has offered to mediate in the issue.

"Ravi Shankar is a pawn of the BJP, which has realised that people have come to know the reality of its jugglery on development. They have tried to rake up the Ram temple issue by pushing the spiritual guru in the front to polarise the Hindu vote bank," Samajwadi Party national general secretary Ramashankar Vidyarthi said.

 BJP is using Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as a pawn in Ram temple dispute, says SPs Ramashankar Vidyarthi

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with UP CM Yogi Adityanath. Twitter/myogiadityanath

Vidyarthi asked why the BJP organised the 'rath yatra' and why it made an election issue, if the Ram Temple had to be constructed through a court's decision or through mutual consensus.

"The BJP has its government today both in the state and at the Centre. Who can stop them for getting the Ram Temple constructed in Ayodhya?"

The spiritual leader's offer for mediating in the dispute has received a tepid and sceptical response from key protagonists on both sides, with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) voicing reservations about his role.

A day before visiting Ayodhya, Ravi Shankar met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier this week but said he had no proposal yet to discuss with the stakeholders.

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77-acre area at Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram Lalla.

The Supreme Court will hear the case on 5 December, a day before the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.

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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2017 18:09:53 IST