Take initiative on temple, Rajnath tells Muslims

New Delhi, Jan 5 | Updated: Jan 6 2006, 05:30am hrs
Seeking to revive the Ram temple issue after a long hiatus, new BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday appealed to Muslims to take the initiative to enable the construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya.

The Ram temple issue should be resolved. It is a national and cultural issue. I appeal to Muslims to take the initiative to enable the construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya, he said in an informal chat with reporters here.

Drawing parallel between the broken Wailing Wall of king Solomons temple and its importance to the Jewish people over the centuries, he said, I feel pity for the people who talk of constructing a hospital, a library or a memorial at the disputed site. A nation can remain united only on its cultural values.

The way culture can inspire, no hospital or educational institution can inspire, he said.

On the issue of ideological deviation, he said, There is no question of deviating from the ideological journey we began.

Asked whether he too would undertake a rath yatra like his predecessor LK Advani, Mr Singh said, The party will decide if some important issue is there. Yatras are undertaken to create mass awareness and under UPA, there is no shortage of issues. He said talks are on for firming up an alliance in Assam but declined to divulge details.

He also said, he would set up his new team after the partys national council formally endorses his appointmenton January 20. All announcements will be made after the national council meeting, Mr Singh said.

While sources said he wanted to lend authority to the appointments by making them after his ratification as party chief, party sources said he wanted to announce the team after the inauspicious period of Kharmas gets over on Makar Sankranti, on January 14.