NEW DELHI: Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Sunday pitched for a resolution of the contentious Ram temple issue at the earliest and asserted that a common Muslim does not have an “attitude of conflict” that may harm social unity.
He, however, advocated a “wait and watch” approach amid demands from many of his BJP colleagues for a law to construct a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and said the Narendra Modi government has not spoken on the matter yet.
“Whatever stand the government takes will be my stand as well. The government has not spoken on the matter so far,” Naqvi told PTI in an interview.
The issue should be resolved at the earliest, he said.
To a question on how Muslims view the thorny issue as, the Minority Affairs Minister said, “A common Muslim wants peace, and an amicable settlement. A common Muslim does not have an attitude of conflict which may harm social unity.”
Asked about no adverse statement coming from Muslims on the temple issue, he said, “Muslim community is a very peaceful community. They don’t want to involve themselves in any destructive agenda.
“Some individuals, some political parties for their own interest can try to incite people. So people feel that there should be a peaceful solution and it (the matter) should be ended.”
Naqvi also rejected the opposition’s claim that the BJP and its Hindutva affiliates were deliberately bringing forth the Ram temple issue ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The matter has long been in court, and organisations linked to it, he said in an apparent reference to Hindutva bodies, thought that day-to-day hearing would be conducted and a resolution would be arrived at soon.
As it did not happen, they have been making their demands, he said.
“People have sentiments and no ban can be imposed on expressing them in a democracy. It is a coincidence that it has happened before elections. Otherwise, it is an old issue,” he said.
Naqvi said the issue of Ram temple was part of the BJP’s manifesto even in the last elections.
He also claimed that there was growing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi among Muslim voters, saying in the four and half years of his government, their mindset and approach had changed a lot and they had become “very positive”.
“They (Muslims) have seen that his (Modi’s) development agenda is very far from any discrimination or political exploitation,” the lone Muslim minister in the government said.