New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) The BJP on Tuesday indicated that the central government’s plea in the Supreme Court to return excess land around the disputed site in Ayodhya to its original owners could pave the way for construction of Ram temple in the holy city of Uttar Pradesh.

The government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking its permission to return the excess or superfluous land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi Babri Masjid site to original owners, including the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

Addressing a press conference at the party office here, Senior BJP leader and union minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has taken an important decision to return the undisputed land to its original owners, who he added, wanted to “build Ram temple” there.

The Narendra Modi-led government is not touching the land under the title dispute, pending in the apex court, Javadekar said.

Asked about the Congress questioning the timing of the government decision, coming weeks before the Lok Sabha elections, Javadekar alleged the opposition party “never believed in existence of Lord Ram and described him as an imagination in an affidavit filed in the court in the Ram Setu case.” Underlining that the government is not touching the disputed land in Ayodhaya, Javadekar said only 0.313 acre of land is disputed where the title suit is yet to be decided.

“Today the government has taken a very important in principle decision to return the excess land, which was acquired in 1994, to the original land owners. Out of 67 acres of undisputed land, the land owner for 42 acres is the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas. Government wants to return the land to its original owners and they want to build the Ram temple there,” Javadekar said.

He maintained that the BJP has always said a temple should be built in Ayodhya through a legal route and the government’s decision is a legal step.

“We are confident that the government will get permission from the court at the earliest,” Javadekar said.

The government’s application will pave the way for a better understanding and a better atmosphere in the country, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.