Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy warned his party that not building a Ram temple in Ayodhya would amount to "betrayal of the public".
"I would like to warn my party that if you don't begin the construction of the Ram Temple and we have to do it before the model code comes into operation which is quite soon... It must be done before that. Not building a Ram Temple will be a betrayal of the public," Swamy told ANI.
Substantiating his point, Swamy continued: "There is nothing to stop us from building a Ram Temple because there is no bar of the Supreme Court. It is only considering the title suit now. Since they are only considering the title suit, there is no bar on the government going ahead because the government under the concept of eminent domain under Article 300A is always the final owner of the land of the country. They can take over any land provided they give compensation".
Swamy said that the government can build the temple now and when the Supreme Court decides the title dispute and gives it to one of the title holders, compensation can be paid. "We can pay compensation to them saying sorry we need it for a public purpose," he said.
Swamy's statement comes two days after the Supreme Court fixed January 29 as the next date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute after Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case. A new bench will now be constituted.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising of Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud, at the outset said that there will be no hearing in the case on Thursday adding that only date and schedule will be decided.
Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the case after advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Muslim parties, pointed out that Justice Lalit had appeared for Kalyan Singh in a related case.
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case has been pending before the apex court for last eight years. Parties in the case and various right-wing organisations have been asking for an early or day-to-day hearing for a long time. Last year, the top court had refused to grant an urgent hearing, saying the court had "other priorities" and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of January this year before the "appropriate bench".
There are as many as 14 appeals pending in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement, delivered in four civil suits. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in its September 30, 2010, verdict ordered that the disputed site be divided into three parts -- one for deity (Ramlala Virajmaan), another for Nirmohi Akhara - a Hindu sect - and a third one, to the original litigant in the case for the Muslims.
On Friday, BJP chief Amit Shah had claimed that the Congress was creating obstacles in the construction of the temple.
"BJP wants Ram Temple to be constructed at the earliest. We are trying in the Supreme Court that the case reaches its conclusion but the Congress here is also trying to create obstacles," he had said while addressing party workers on the first day of the two-day BJP national council meeting which started yesterday.