A day after the Shiv Sena aligned with the Opposition on Rafale deal debate, more trouble is in store for BJP from its other NDA partners. While the JD(U) said it would vote against the Triple Talaq Bill, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday announced to oppose any Ordinance on Ram temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday suggested any decision on an Ordinance on Ram temple in Ayodhya can happen only after the completion of the judicial process. Modi’s comments came amid heightened demands by Hindutava organisations, including the RSS, for an Ordinance for an early construction of the temple.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is the second major ally of the BJP to oppose an Ordinance. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had recently said that the contentious issue should be resolved either through a court judgment or mutual agreement among different groups. Last week, the ruling party in Bihar also announced its disagreement in regard to the ongoing contentious Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament.
A week after the seat-sharing deal with the BJP and the JD(U), Paswan in a Press conference said he opposed an Ordinance on the Ram temple issue and asserted that the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter should be final.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up on Friday a batch of petitions for hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. The matter is listed before a Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul.
“Whatever judgment the Supreme Court gives on the Ram temple should be accepted by everyone, be it Hindu, Muslim or any other community. Our stand has been consistent. When the PM said that we will wait for the SC judgment, then all ifs and buts should end,” Paswan, who is also LJP president, said.
Asked if he would support an Ordinance on the issue, Paswan said his stand has been consistent and that he would not support it. Paswan added that political parties have different views on issues and asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to make his stand clear on these issues as he seems to be confused.
Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) too criticised the BJP, saying the Bill, criminalising instant Triple Talaq, was being “rushed” and if it comes up for passing in the Rajya Sabha, it would vote against the Government.
The Opposition has closed ranks against the Triple Talaq Bill in the upper house demanding the Bill be sent to a select parliamentary committee for scrutiny.
“We feel the way this Bill is being rushed, it was avoidable and we feel more consultation should have taken place,” senior JD(U) leader Vashishta Narayan Singh said when asked about party’s stand in case the voting takes place. “We will vote against the Government,” Singh said.
The JD(U)’s stand underscores the trouble the BJP is facing from its allies since it faced an electoral setback in the latest round of Assembly polls in the heartland States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
In Uttar Pradesh, regional ally Apna Dal too asserted itself over seat sharing, declaring they will boycott all events in Parliament till the differences are sorted out.
As Bihar has 16 per cent of Muslims who have traditionally voted for Lalu Yadav’s RJD and the Congress, on the issue of Ram Temple in Ayodhya the party has already made it clear the issue either be solved by mutual consent between the affected communities or decided by a court of law and will not support any Ordinance in this regard.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on Tuesday in an interview that the Government would not take any decision on the issue till the judicial process is over. Hindutva groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been demanding an Ordinance to pave way for the temple construction in Ayodhya.
Earlier Shiv Sena said it wondered when the Ram temple could be constructed in Ayodhya if not during the tenure of the current BJP-led majority Government. It said if the Ram temple cannot be built before 2019 (polls), it will be like betraying people of the country, for which the BJP and the RSS would have to apologise to them.