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RSS plans to lie low over title suit verdict

delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2010 01:22 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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The RSS has put in a place a revised strategy on the Ram temple issue, no matter what the Allahabad High Court verdict is. Finalised by top Sangh leaders — including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who met BJP leaders here — the new strategy rules out aggression, provocative posturing and war-cry, the hallmark of pre-1992 and post-demolition eras.

Instead, the strategy envisages preparing for the long haul to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple. Firstly, the Sangh has reined in all VHP hotheads, including Praveen Togadia, firmly vetoing their suggestions for demonstration of support.

Bhagwat alone will set the line for the Sangh Parivar’s response to the verdict on September 24 after he meets all RSS leaders in Delhi. RSS- affiliated units have been told not to make statements till the first word comes from Bhagwat. Key RSS leaders have been told to cancel their tours to be available for consultation once the verdict is out.

This time, the Sangh would like to keep the issue apolitical. The RSS’s assessment is similar to that of the Centre and all political parties including the BJP — that the verdict will not mean the end of litigation.

“The issue is bound to reach the Supreme Court, which alone will be able to take a final call,” a senior RSS leader said. The Sangh leaders favour mobilising all parties — not just the BJP — to think of a legislative solution since the verdict is limited to deciding who owns the 2.77 acres.

“We have to mobilise opinion in favour of releasing the rest 67 acres (near the disputed site) that the government took into possession in 1992 for building the temple,” said a RSS functionary. That land was taken by legislation and can be released only by legislation.”

At the same time, a Sangh leader said the RSS was “confident” the high court would rule in favour of the temple “because of innumerable evidence, including archaeological findings,” which favour its view of a Hindu structure prior to the Babri Masjid.

Cong braces for verdict day

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked her party MPs and MLAs to be in their constituencies to ensure that nothing untoward happens when the Allahabad High Court delivers its verdict on September 24.

This is part of the party’s tactics to counter attempts by forces who may try to rouse passions and polarise the political atmosphere on the issue.