Former union Finance Minister and senior advocate P Chidambaram has answered directly on the call that is being raised from certain quarters for the government to promulgate an ordinance to pave the way for building a Ram Mandir at the disputed Ram Janbabhoomi site.
Speaking at a news briefing in Kolkata, where he attacked the ruling BJP government on the occasion of the second anniversary of Demonetisation, and also over the ongoing tussle with the Reserve Bank of India, which he said could be catastrophic for the country, Chidambaram was also asked on electoral matters, specifically against the backdrop of the Congress-JD(S) alliance winning four of five bypolls in Karnataka, increasing their tally by two Lok Sabha seats and two assembly seats. On this, he attacked the BJP for allegedly reverting to a Hindutva agenda as a result of their developmental promises failing to bear fruit.
"Having failed in development, jobs, growth, they've gone back to the old agenda --divisive Hindutva agenda. And you'll hear more and more of this."
While elaborating along this line, Chidambaram was asked about the Ram Mandir issue and specifically about an ordinance towards this in light of the Supreme Court deprioritising the hearings in the Ayodhya dispute case till January 2019. To this, he said:
"I have said that on ordinance on the case of Ram temple especially when regular appeal is pending before the Allahabad High Court judgment, in my view would be unconstitutional. That's my view."
Chidambaram's was among the very few statements that have been issued by the Congress over the Ram Mandir issue. Earlier, Shashi Tharoor had spoken about it in the terms of 'good Hindu-bad Hindu' and advised people to 'Build Ram in their hearts'. Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh asked why 'they' would want to build the Ram Mandir on a disputed spot, and if they insisted on doing so, they should wait for the court's verdict.
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath hinted that the government could explore the ordinance route, saying that the Ram Mandir would be built under the ambit of the Constitution.