New Delhi: Welcoming the assertion made by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat over the Ram Mandir issue, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said that the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will increase by many folds as soon as he takes the responsibility of its construction into his own hands.
The Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna, said that the issue of Ram Mandir being raised by Bhagwat has to be answered only by the ruling dispensation at the Centre- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"The BJP is at power at the Centre. The government is functioning keeping aside the issue of Common Civil Code, Ram Mandir, Article 370 etc. Meanwhile, the Ram Temple issue raised by Mohan Bhagwat has to be answered only by the BJP," said the editorial.
"We welcome the role played by the RSS in this context. What we would like to advise them is to announce a date and start the construction work," the editorial added.
The editorial also alleged that those demanding the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya are today being targeted and treated like the terrorist Ajmal Kasab.
"We believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the will and the guts to start the construction of Ram Mandir. His popularity will increase by many folds as soon as he takes over this responsibility," the editorial said.
The editorial also recalled the statement made by BJP president Amit Shah where he had said that they would construct the Ram Mandir when they would have 380 MPs.
"The issue of Ram Mandir now cannot be delayed. We would have to resolve it as soon as possible," it added.
Expressing hope that the proposed Ram Mandir will be built at Ayodhya in his lifetime, Bhagwat had earlier said it needs a careful planning.
"The temple will be built within my lifetime. May be, we will see it with our own eyes. None can say when and how the temple will be constructed, but we need to be prepared and ready," Bhagwat said while addressing a programme in Kolkata to pay tributes to brothers Ram Kothari and Sharad Kothari who were killed in police firing while performing the kar seva at Ayodhya in 1990.
"We need to plan it carefully. A good mix of 'josh' (passion) and 'hosh' (sanity) is needed to complete the work which Ram and Sharad had initiated," he added.
However, the Shiv Sena had earlier warned the RSS to not politicize the issue and to announce the date of the construction of the temple right away.
"We also want that the Ram Mandir should be constructed but they should give a definite timeframe for the same. The elections in Uttar Pradesh are approaching. If the Ram Mandir is made a political issue then the people won't forgive us. The people should not be deceived on this matter," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said.