Gorakhpur (UP), Nov 29 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey on Thursday said the party supports construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the shrine will be constructed through “any means”.

But he also claimed that the party had never contested elections on the Ram temple issue and its agenda has always been development.

“We support construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya,” Pandey said.

He said the party stood by a proposal, passed during a meeting of its national executive council in Himachal Pradesh in 1989, for Ram temple construction.

“The case is in court and we hope that the decision will be in our favour,” he said, referring to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

“However, the temple will be constructed through any means,” the BJP leader told reporters.

Speaking about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s controversial remark about Lord Hanuman, Pandey said the statement should be seen in wide context.

“The chief minister expressed his views about Hanuman, the one who was behind uniting all in Ramayana. But people who worry about ‘gotra’ started finding caste and ‘gotra’ in this too,” he said.

At a recent election meeting in Rajasthan, Adityanath had said, “Bajrang bali hamari bharatiya parampara mein ek aise lokdevta hain jo swayam vanvaasi hai, girvasi hain, Dalit hain, vanchit hai (Hanuman was a forest dweller, a Dalit and deprived).” Pandey expressed confidence about the BJP’s victory in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Other parties can forge alliances with each other, but we make alliance with people and will win 2019 with massive number of votes, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.