Government should acquire disputed Ayodhya site to build temple: VHP

New Delhi: Pushing for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Vishwa Hindu Parishad today asked the Centre to acquire the disputed site, where Babri mosque was torn down by Hindutva activists in 1992, for this purpose.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy joined VHP patron Ashok Singhal in making the demand, saying the party's manifesto for the 2014 elections had promised the temple's construction and the Modi government should take steps in this regard. They, however, told a press conference that they would wait for the Supreme Court's decision on the sensitive issue before deciding on further course of action.

"The government for a public interest purpose can issue a notice to the Babri Masjid Muthwali (hereditary supervisor) for acquisition of the land and building of Babri Masjid and offer (to Muslims) another site to build a mosque, perhaps across the Saryu river," they said in a statement.

"There is no obstacle in the construction of the Ram temple.... Government should take an initiative. BJP's manifesto has also spoken about it," Swamy said. To "spread awareness" among people, they will hold a seminar in January in which deliberations will take over over rebuilding of temple.

Swami, president of Virat Hindustan Sangam, also shared a purported affidavit submitted by the then government before the apex court in 1994 in which it had stated that if existence of a temple was established, its action will be in "support of the wishes of Hindu community".

Swami and VHP general secretary Champat Rai claimed that excavation reports have stated that a temple existed there. Swami said he had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and made several suggestions for the construction of temple.

"I have not received a reply. I will take it up again after Bihar Assembly polls," he said. He had also asked party chief Amit Shah to convene a special session of National Council of BJP over the issue, he added.

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