New Delhi : BJP president Amit Shah called up party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani on Wednesday night assuring him that the party stands behind him in the Babri Mosque demolition conspiracy case revived against him by the Supreme Court.
BJP sources said Shah was advised to do so after a two-hour-long core group meeting at the Prime Minister’s house where the party was unanimous in its resolution that there was no criminal conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid and that the 16th century mosque was razed to the ground in a spontaneous act by agitated ‘karsevaks.
Prime Minister Modi had called the core group meeting to review the Supreme Court’s judgment, hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, himself a senior advocate, played it down claiming no material change has happened in the case going on since 1993. Jaitley also ruled out resignation of Union Minister Uma Bharti saying she was already an accused in the case all these years.
Sources in the BJP refused to comment on whether Advani could still be the party’s candidate in the presidential election in June.
Those who attended the core group meeting besides Modi, Amit Shah and Jaitley were Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and M Venkaiah Naidu, all former BJP presidents. It was also decided to caution party leaders to “exercise restraint” on the issue and not start reacting to the opposition attack.
After the meeting, Shah also called up Uma Bharti, directing her to cancel her plans to travel to Ayodhya on Thursday as she had announced soon after the Supreme Court verdict.
The BJP believes that rather than a setback, the Supreme Court verdict will add momentum to the party’s ultimate aim of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The daily hearings that the apex court has ordered will revive the tempo of the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation.
In fact, the party’s manifesto for the recently-concluded Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh clearly said building the Ram temple was on top of the BJP’s agenda.