“Let the judicial process take its own course. Don’t weigh it in political terms. Let the judicial process be over,” Narendra Modi told local ANI news agency.
The Indian Supreme Court is scheduled on Jan. 4, 2019 to hear the case on the decades-old Babri Mosque dispute between Muslims and Hindus.
“After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as Government, we are ready to make all efforts,” he said.
Modi added: “I want to appeal to the Congress not to use their lawyers to delay the judicial process on the Ram Temple.”
Right-wing groups in India have been demanding Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to propose in parliament the construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
In December 1992, Hindus destroyed the 16th-century mosque named after Mughal Emperor Babur. The destruction sparked nationwide riots that left around 2,000 people dead.
The dispute between Hindus and Muslims has resulted in thousands of deaths over the years.
Muslims demand a new mosque at the site, while Hindus claim that this was where their god Ram was born, demanding instead a temple at the site.
Reacting to the statement, Muslim leaders in the country stated that the government can’t bring any ordinance on the issue as legal proceedings are ongoing.
Maulana Maqsood ul Hasan Qasmi, head of India’s Imam Council, told Anadolu Agency that Modi’s statement was a message for hardliners who were pushing the government to take action.
“No one can bring any ordinance because the case is being heard by Supreme Court,” he said.
“Today, this message by PM Modi is for those [hardliners] who have been demanding an ordinance for the temple.”
He also linked Tuesday’s statement to the recent state elections that saw a huge loss for Modi’s ruling party.
“The BJP recently lost the elections in three states, even they tried to raise the communal politics during the election campaign…so they have realized that they cannot raise this issue more,” Qasmi added.
“The common people in the country will accept the verdict by the Supreme Court,” he hoped.
Another leading Muslim figure said that Modi’s statement did not clarify the government's position on the matter.
“He has said that the government will not bring an ordinance till the legal process is over, but at the same time, he has not clear if they would bring any legislation,” Tasleem Rahmani, head of the New Delhi-based Muslim Political Council, told Anadolu Agency.
“This is also not clear if the government will interfere in the judicial process to speed it up or not.”
Source: Anadolu Agency