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Shh! Congress mum on Ayodhya move

Grand Old Party now distances itself from Ayodhya dispute, ‘nothing to do’ with Centre’s move

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Shh! Congress mum on Ayodhya move
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    Even though the government on Tuesday, through its plea to the apex court to return the excess land around the disputed site in Ayodhya, has picked up the threads from the endeavours of a Congress prime minister three decades ago, the Grand Old Party is now distancing itself from the issue.

    Party's national spokesperson Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters that the party has "nothing to do" with the plea. "The application is a matter between the apex court and the applicant, and we have no opinion on the matter. However, it needs to be explained why did the Centre move the court 16 years after it was decided, exactly two months before the election," said Singhvi.

    The Congress' communication team, too, has asked its panellists to not appear on TV debates on the matter to maintain a safe distance on the issue. This directive, sources say, came after senior party leader Ahmed Patel asked party counsel Kapil Sibal to refrain from appearing on behalf of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board in the case.

    In 1989, when the Bofors controversy was at its peak, then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi saw a tough time winning the impending Lok Sabha elections even when he enjoyed a comfortable majority in the House. He announced his 'Shilanyas' tour and promised that he will work towards building the Ram Temple at the disputed site.

    Gandhi's endeavours bore no fruit, and the VP Singh government came to power. Singh, too, continued with the same intent, and eventually acquired the land. This eventually ended with the 2003 judgement which directed that unless the title suit is not decided upon, the land surrounding the site will remain untouched.

    Today, after the application was filed in the apex court, the BJP, too, indicated that the party intends to construct the Ram temple at the site. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said his party's intent was to restore the land to the original owners who would like to construct the temple.

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