Raking up the Ayodhya issue ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh on Saturday declared that nobody could shake the party's faith in Lord Ram, for whom a magnificent temple will be built at Ayodhya.
"Jahan tak Ram Janambhoomi ka sawal hai, koi ma ka lal Bhagwan Ram me hamari aastha aur nishta ko diga nahi sakta (No one can shake BJP's faith and reverence to Lord Ram)," he said in his inaugural speech at the two-day National Council meeting that began in Nagpur on Saturday.
Rajnath's statement led to chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' from several of the assembled gathering, consisting of thousands of party leaders and workers.
The BJP had kept its pet issues like Ayodhya, Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and Uniform Civil Code on a backburner when it came to power in 1998 and tied up a coalition.
He lamented that during the last five years the Congress-led coalition at the Centre had failed to spare 'even five minutes' for initiating dialogue to resolve the Ram Janambhoomi issue. He said that if the BJP comes to power, it would work towards an effective solution of the vexed issue and could even set up a fast-track court and could take other measures after taking allies into confidence.
"The day BJP will get a clear majority we will, if necessary, bring a law on the issue," he said.
This is for the first time in the campaign for the forthcoming Lok Sabha election that the BJP has raised the Ayodhya issue. At the national executive meeting on friday, Rajnath had steered clear of all contentious issues including Ayodhya, Article 370, and Uniform Civil Code.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani was present on the dais along with several party leaders and chief ministers when Rajnath made his speech.
Accusing the Congress-led Central government of not making any direct or indirect effort to resolve the issue, Rajnath regretted that on the Ram Sethu issue, the government had denied the very existence of Lord Ram.
"During the tenure of this government, the kind of contempt that has been displayed towards our cultural symbols, has perhaps never taken place throughout our history," he said. He wanted the government to come out of the 'colonial mindset'.
The BJP president also accused the government of minority appeasement and alleged that one Indian minister wanted 'grant of citizenship to Bangladeshi infiltrators' while another one had declared the banned Students Islamic Movement of India as a 'cultural organisation'.