Once the fiery mascot of the Ram temple movement, Union Minister Uma Bharti wants a resolution to the lingering dispute through dialogue even as she hails controversial BJP MP Subramanian Swamy as her "hero", saying she believes his words that work on the temple in Ayodhya will start by the end of this year.
Bharti ruled herself out as a possible chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, but voiced confidence that BJP will be able to form its government in the key Hindi heartland state with Amit Shah at the helm of the party.
On the issue of Ram temple construction and Swamy's remarks that the work on it will start this year, Bharti told PTI in an interview, "I respect Swamy very much. He is my hero. I was 15-16 years old when Emergency was imposed and Dr Swamy, George Fernandes were my heroes. For me he is a heroic figure. So whatever he says, I will believe that."
The remarks by BJP's yesteryear Hindutva mascot comes at a time when the party leadership is skirting questions on Ram temple and repeatedly insisting that development will be the party's poll plank in UP as it seeks to wrest the politically important state from Samajwadi Party.
Speaking at an event in Mumbai in April, Swamy had claimed that work to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya would begin by this year-end. He had expressed confidence that next year Hindus would celebrate Ram Navami at the Ram temple.
"The issue in the Ram temple movement was whether it was the birthplace of Lord Rama or not. The three-judge bench of Allahabad HC said one thing undisputedly that the dome in the middle is of Ramlala. The Ram temple movement got legal sanction with that declaration.
"Now the dispute that remains is the dispute of land. There is no dispute now on whether it is Ram Janmabhoomi or not. Movements are not needed to resolve land disputes. It has to be resolved either through a dialogue or a legislation. I feel that the most beautiful solution to Ram janmabhoomi issue can be found through dialogue," she said.
Bharti suggested that parties to the dispute should sit together and saints and religious leaders of both sides facilitate dialogue between the two communities and tell the court they have resolved the issue. "And a magnificent temple is built there. I am very proud that I took part in the movement, which has also got the stamp of the court that I was right," she said, referring to the Allahabad High Court judgement.
In September 2010, a three-judge bench of Allahbad High Court, comprising Justices S U Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and D V Sharma had ruled that the disputed land be split into three parts. The court had said that the portion below the central dome under which the idols of Lord Ram and other Gods were placed, belonged to Hindus.
Lauding BJP chief Amit Shah's organisational skills, Bharti said, "This time we have a leader who functions properly, does not come under pressure from anybody. The magic mantra for Uttar Pradesh is that you decide without coming under pressure and with an independent mind.
"Our national president takes decisions with an independent mind, takes focused decisions, works very hard himself and makes others also work hard, has no place for sycophancy," she said.
When asked if BJP should declare a chief ministerial candidate for UP polls, she referred to assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana where the party won without announcing a CM nominee and Assam where it named Sarbananda Sonowal for the top job, saying,"Whatever decision Amit Shah takes will be right. We will work hard."
Replying to a query about whether she was in contention for CM's post, Bharti said, "I have not even remotest interest in it. I have no interest even in talking on this issue. It's an unrelated subject for me. I am not concerned with any other subject than Ganga water. I am not ready to discuss it."
The Union Minister expressed confidence that BJP will get a majority in UP this time as it had got in 1991. BJP had then won 221 of state's 425 seats.
"We will form government with a clear majority as we had in 1991. A similar situation prevails in Uttar Pradesh even today, people are suffering due to insecurity, corruption and the rising crime graph. See what happened in Mathura, people have dared to kill a Superintendent of Police.
"Mathura incident is very serious. If you go into the nitty-gritty of the incident... who gave political protection to the 2,000-odd people who stayed there for these many days? Can 2,000 people encroach upon the land without the ruling party's protection? Were those people so dangerous that the entire UP government could not tackle them? This shows how poor the administration under this government is," she said.