Kalyan Singh says Ayodhya verdict all-inclusive, predicts Ram Mandir by 2022

Abhinav Ranjan

BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished, has hailed the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict, saying it was "all-inclusive" and should not be seen as anyone’s victory or defeat. He said the judgment on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute was "all-inclusive" and has been "welcomed by all".

"It has brought the curtains down on the 500-year-old dispute," Singh said on Monday.

The SC on Saturday ruled in favour of the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site. It also ordered the allocation of an alternative five-acre plot elsewhere in Ayodhya for a mosque to replace the one demolished by "kar sevaks" in December 1992, when Kalyan Singh was chief minister.

"The verdict should not be taken as a win or defeat. It is a matter of faith for all and there should be no politics over it," he said.

"The apex court has very wisely not given the rights to the land to an individual," Singh added.

The BJP veteran predicted that the temple could be constructed by 2022 or 2023.

"I am a Ram bhakt and have been associated with it since long. Like all countrymen, I also want a temple that has unparalleled grandeur at the birthplace of Lord Ram," he said.

Singh, who recently rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party after completing his term as Rajasthan governor, hoped that the temple will bring employment opportunities. He said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will develop Ayodhya into a special pilgrim centre, giving in a place on the world map.

Kalyan Singh faces a case in a special CBI court over criminal conspiracy to demolish the Babri mosque. He said so far seven witnesses have deposed in but refused to comment further.

Asked to comment on the Supreme Court observation on the demolition of the mosque, Singh said he paid the price for not maintaining law and order by tendering his resignation the same day and accepting moral responsibility. The judgment said the demolition was a serious violation of the rule of law.

Singh, who has been visiting Ayodhya often, said he planned to go there again but the date will be decided later. Asked who would lay the foundation stone for the Ram temple, he said it could be Prime Minister Narendra Modi or anyone else picked by the trust to be set up on the directions of the apex court.