BJP Ally Ram Vilas Paswan Begs To Differ On Ayodhya Ordinance, Sabarimala

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Ram Vilas Paswan said his Lok Janshakti Party's stand has been consistent on the Ram temple issue

New Delhi:

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today became the second BJP ally in Bihar to oppose an ordinance or executive order to enable a Ram temple in Ayodhya, saying the Supreme Court decision on the matter should be final. The Lok Janshakti Party chief also differed with the BJP's stand on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 in Kerala's Sabarimala temple and supported the Supreme Court judgement.

"Whatever judgement the Supreme Court gives on the Ram temple issue should be accepted by everyone, be it Hindu, Muslim or any other community. When the PM said that we will wait for the Supreme Court judgement, then all ifs and buts should end," Mr Paswan said, according to news agency PTI.

Mr Paswan added that his Lok Janshakti Party's stand has been consistent on the issue and that he would not support the ordinance.

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Last month, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said the Ram temple issue should be resolved either through a court judgement or mutual agreement among different groups.

"We are committed to the development in Bihar… We are of the opinion that the Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision," Mr Kumar has said.

The title suit of the disputed site in Ayodhya is pending in the Supreme Court, which is expected to say tomorrow on when it would begin hearing the case. But, there has been a vocal demand from right-wing groups as well as a section of the BJP and allies like the Shiv Sena, to bypass the legal process through an ordinance or executive order from the government, and begin construction on the disputed site.

On Tuesday, in an interview to news agency ANI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said a decision on an ordinance cannot be made until the judicial process is over. "Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts," he had said.

Ram Vilas Paswan, speaking on entry of women in the Sabarimala temple, said his party is against any gender discrimination. He said the BJP may have protested against the implementation of the Supreme Court order but the centre has not interfered in the matter.

"The Supreme Court has given its judgement and now two women have even entered the temple. Is the government stopping them from entering the temple? There should be no discrimination in the name of gender. Women are going to space, then why can't they enter a temple," PTI quoted Mr Paswan as saying.

Kerala is witnessing massive protests since yesterday after two women managed to enter the shrine before daybreak on Wednesday. The state witnessed a dawn-to-dusk shutdown today, called by an umbrella organisation of various right-wing groups.

Today's shutdown, called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi, is supported by the BJP. The Congress-led UDF is observing a "black day".

With inputs from PTI

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