Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today claimed that work on the Ram Temple at Ayodhya would start before the end of the year and Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, giving special status to the state, would be revoked by the end of year 2017.
“By the end of this year, we will start the construction of Ram Temple. We and other stakeholders are in favour of day-to-day hearing in the case by Supreme Court from July onwards,” Swamy said at the India TV conclave “Samvaad” on Modi government’s two years completion.
He added that if this happens the court judgement would come within months, making it possible for work on Ram Temple to begin forthwith.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi, who was also present at the event, however, countered Swamy’s contentions saying, “It is just not possible as even the translation of the court documents will take six months.”
He said, “Ram Mandir part of manifesto. Court will decide. The question is if mosque was built where temple was. Confident of winning the case.”
On Article 370, Swamy said, “By the end of 2017, we (our government) will revoke Article 370.”
Owaisi also challenged the BJP leader’s claim on Article 370, saying, “Article 370 is a binding factor to keep Jammu and Kashmir united. Kashmir is an integral part of India.”
He took a dig at Swamy saying BJP stood “exposed” as its leaders forgot Article 370 while finalising the common minimum programme with PDP before sharing power with it in Jammu and Kashmir.
Participating in a debate on “Do Muslims feel safe in India”, the Hyderabad MP also said a uniform civil code is not possible in India as “it is necessary to save the diversity of our country and hence it cannot become a reality”.
“To save the diversity of this vast country, I am against the uniform civil code,” he said.
This was countered by Swamy, who claimed that when Muslims can accept uniform criminal code, why they did not accept the uniform civil code replacing their personal laws.
While Swamy claimed that Muslims were safe and as unsafe as Hindus in India, Owaisi said Muslims will be safe as long as there is Constitution.
“Muslims are as unsafe in India as Hindus. Muslims not unsafe in India. India provides maximum protection to Muslims as minority as compared to any other country,” Swamy said.
Owaisi, however, said, “Muslims safe in India as long as there is Constitution”. He also demanded reservation for Muslims and questioned why Jats were given even when they resorted to violence.