NEW DELHI -- Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has fired the minister who said that instead of trying to build mosques in Ayodhya, where the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, Muslims should help build the Ram Temple.
Yadav sacked Ompal Nehra on Friday morning.
"Where can a Ram temple be built if not at Ayodhya? Muslims should help in building a Ram temple in Ayodhya and a Krishna temple in Mathura and give up their claim on mosques there. In fact I would say that Muslims should join Kar Seva (voluntary work) for the Ram temple," Nehra said on Thursday.
Over the past week, lawmakers have objected to the recent movement of stones for the construction of the Ram Temple, under the supervision of the Vishawa Hindu Parishad, which belongs to the same family of Hindu groups like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The matter of the contested land on which the Babri Masjid stood till 1992 is pending before the Supreme Court.
The ruling Samajwadi Party in U.P. is expected to control the situation and defuse any tensions between Hindus and Muslims.
Political rivals have accused the SP and the BJP of rekindling the hugely sensitive Babri Masjid- Ram Temple dispute to trigger communal polarisation in the run up to the State Election in 2017.
Defending his remarks today, Nehra said, "I had also said that Hindu brothers should make mosques and Muslim brothers should make temples...I said that a great temple should be constructed and mosque should be constructed at an adequate distance from each other."
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