Uma Bharti said when there could not be a temple in the holy town of Medina. (File)
Union minister Uma Bharti on Sunday said while Hindus were the "most tolerant" people in the world, any talk of constructing a mosque on the periphery of a Ram temple in Ayodhya could make them "intolerant".
The minister also invited Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to lay the foundation stone of the temple in Ayodhya with her, saying he would "atone for the sins" of his party by doing so.
"Hindus are the most tolerant community in the world. I will appeal to all politicians: please don't make Hindus intolerant by talking about building a mosque on the outer periphery of the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya," Ms Bharti told PTI in an interview.
She said when there could not be a temple in the holy town of Medina or a mosque in the Vatican City, it would be "unfair" to talk about a mosque in Ayodhya.
Describing the Ayodhya dispute as one of land and not faith, Ms Bharti said, "This is now only a matter of dispute of land, not dispute of faith. It has been resolved that Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Ram."
She also stressed the need for an out-of-court settlement of the contentious issue, and urged all political leaders – including Mr Gandhi, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP leader Mayawati and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee – to support this.
"We need support of all political parties on this issue. I invite all leaders including Rahul Gandhiji, come let's lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple with me," Ms Bharti said.
By doing so, the Gandhi-scion could atone for the past sins of the Congress, which always created "hurdles" in building the temple in Ayodhya, she said.