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SC ruling on Babri a blow or blessing in disguise for the BJP?

19 April, 2017 4:48 PM
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SC ruling on Babri a blow or blessing in disguise for the BJP?

NEW DELHI: Instead of treating it as a blow, the BJP is mulling to consider the Supreme Court verdict in a positive light, party sources said on Wednesday after a two-hour core committee meeting at PM Narendra Modi's residence.

It was discussed that the verdict would revive BJP's pet Ayodhya-Ram temple issue after years.

BJP chief Amit Shah, Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and M Venkaiah Naidu were present in the meeting.

A sense of sympathy prevailed among a section of the party for sidelined veteran leaders like L K Advani and Joshi since they had been dragged into the criminal conspiracy case for the demolition of the Babri mosque yet again. However, party insiders agreed that the Supreme Court verdict could breathe new life into the Ram temple issue which has already started gathering some steam after BJP's big victory in Uttar Pradesh, and especially after Yogi Adityanath -- a product of the Ram temple movement -- was made chief minister of the state.

While party leaders underplayed the meeting saying there were other issues on the agenda, it is understood that the Supreme Court verdict and its implications were also discussed with the leadership exploring various options to deal with it.

For the record, senior leader and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party will study in detail the court verdict before offering comments. He, however, asserted that his party highly respects its leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the two veterans, along with Union minister Uma Bharti and others and also believed that they are innocent as far as any conspiracy is concerned.

The apex court allowed a CBI plea seeking their trial for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

Some BJP leaders said the party would not like to send across the message that the "heroes" of the Hindutva movement would be tried for criminal conspiracy when it is in power at the Centre as well in Uttar Pradesh.

The party has always maintained that the demolition of the mosque was not planned, but a spontaneous act of agitating 'karsevaks' and there was no conspiracy behind it.

The uneasy relationship that Modi and Shah share with Advani and Joshi also does not help the party.

Many critics of the BJP leadership have alleged that the verdict suits the party's interest as it gives them a reason not to consider either of two veterans for the post of the President or the Vice-President, though most in the party completely overruled this theory.

How Advani and Joshi will react to the development in the coming days is also an issue in the party. The two party seniors also met on Wednesday evening as Joshi drove down to Advani's residence for a meeting.

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