Muslims not against Ram Mandir, want both temple, Masjid: Congress leader

Paramilitary personnel stand guard around the partially built shrine to Lord Rama in Ayodhya on December 9, 1992. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 05, 2018, 10.08 PM (IST)

Karnataka Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan Monday said Muslims were not against Ram temple at Ayodhya but pitched for construction of both Mandir and Masjid.

Khan, who is from the Congress in the party’s coalition government with the Janata Dal-Secular, hit out at the BJP for raking up the issue for political reasons, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Muslims are not against the construction of Ram Mandir, we want Ram Mandir, also Babri Masjid,” Khan said.

“What we want is peace. Muslims have never opposed Ram Mandir. We have two wishes- one side we want Masjid, one side we want Ram Mandir.”

Khan’s statement comes days after another Congress MLA and former minister Roshan Baig asked, “If Ram Mandir is not constructed in India, will it be built in Pakistan” and said Muslims respected the sentiments of “Hindu brothers.”

The chorus for bringing in a law to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya is growing louder among the Sangh Parivar following the Supreme Court’s decision to defer hearing on the RamJanmabhoomi land dispute case to January.

Pointing out that the case was pending before the Supreme Court, the Minister said, there was no use in talking about it, as the issue has to be decided in the court.

Flaying the BJP for “politicising” the issue ahead of Lok Sabha elections, he questioned as to why the saffron party did not remember about the Mandir for the last four-and-a-half years after they came to power at the Centre.

“All of a sudden they want to construct Ram Mandir. What happened for the last four-and-a-half years? Elections (Lok Sabha) are due in five or six months, now they remember Ram Mandir, Babri Masjid issue,” he said.

Reiterating that Muslims were not opposed to Ram Mandir, Khan said, “what we want is the construction of both Mandir and Masjid.”