New Delhi: Hindu pro-temple groups are piling pressure on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to facilitate early building of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

Taking the first step in this direction, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is planning to hold a “dharam sansad" (congregation of Hindu priests) at the Ramlila Ground in the national capital on 9 December, two days before the start of the crucial winter session of Parliament.

“The entire effort is to build a grand temple in Ayodhya. We want to convey to parliamentarians that this issue is beyond party lines and all political parties and their representatives should come forward to support the demand for a temple in Ayodhya," said Vinod Bansal, a spokesperson of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

With a renewed push by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for construction of the Ram temple, the issue is likely to resonate in the run-up to the 2019 general elections as many senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have supported the call.

Bansal said the intention of the congregation is to ensure support for early construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

“Our initial slogan was ‘Ram Lalla aayenge, mandir wahin banayenge (Ram will come, temple will be constructed)’ but now we have changed the slogan. Now, the new slogan is ‘Ram Lalla aayenge, mandir bhavya banayenge (Ram will come, grand temple will be built)’."

Apart from the congregation of priests in Delhi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate is also planning to hold smaller versions across the country in each parliamentary constituency. “We want to give a memorandum to each member of Parliament (MP) with a clear message that those who are in favour of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya would get elected in the 2019 general elections," Bansal added.

VHP leaders organised similar meetings of Hindu religious leaders at seven places on 25 November, including Ayodhya, Nagpur and Mangaluru, to put pressure on the union government.

The winter session of the Parliament is scheduled to start on 11 December and continue till 8 January. The VHP’s planned programme will come just after polling for all five states ends next week.

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