Congress' candidate from Lucknow Acharya Pramod Krishnam on Thursday made a secular Ram Mandir saying that Hindus and Muslims should build the Temple in Ayodhya together. He also said that the BJP had betrayed the people on the matter.
"The people of Awadh will not forgive those who betrayed Lord Ram. Every saint wants the Ram Mandir. I want that Hindus and Muslims should build Ram Mandir together. I don't think Muslims of India are against Ram Mandir," he said.
On March 8 2019, a five-member Constitution SC Bench had issued an order appointing a three-member mediation panel consisting of retired Supreme Court Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living Foundation- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu. The panel was given an 8-week deadline to conclude with the mediation in utmost confidentiality.
The Congress has thus far refrained from addressing the matter openly. It has, nonetheless, via its leaders who are also senior lawyers, told the Supreme Court to only take up the matter after the 2019 elections.
When Congress president Rahul Gandhi was asked whether the Ram Mandir would change the narrative of the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he had said that the narrative for the elections was employment, education, healthcare and corruption, and that these would be the agenda issues.
The BJP, RSS and the VHP had been accusing the party of creating hurdles to delay the matter when it was sub-judice in Supreme Court.
PM Narendra Modi in his interview to ANI on Jan 1, said that everyone should wait for Supreme Court's say in the matter, and following that, his government would make all efforts to fulfill its 2014 election manifesto promise of building a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya at the site of the Ram Janmabhoomi.