We will never allow Ayodhya temple: Lalu

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government would never allow construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The chief of Bihar's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said he knew how to handle the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose new president LK Advani has been attempting to bring back the temple issue to the centre stage, better than anybody else.

Addressing some reporters at a party function here, Lalu Prasad recalled how he he had got Advani arrested during his famous rath yatra in 1990 in Bihar.

He also managed to retain communal harmony in the state after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992 and has not allowed the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to stir trouble, Lalu Prasad said.

Targeting the BJP and Advani, he said that they were once again trying to create communal disharmony like in the 1990s. "But this time I am in the centre and will not allow them to harm the image of India."

Making a not so subtle reference to his desire to be home minister of the country, he said: "If I get the home department I would administer a strong dose of antibiotics to all the troublemakers."

He had disclosed last month that he was keen on the home ministry to handle communal forces but was given the railway ministry instead.