Gadkari appeals Muslims to give up their Ayodhya claim | india | Hindustan Times
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Gadkari appeals Muslims to give up their Ayodhya claim

india Updated: Feb 20, 2010 14:19 IST

PTI
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Bringing to the fore yet again the party's pet issue, new BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said Ram temple in Ayodhya is its soul and appealed to the Muslims to adopt a "generous" attitude by giving up their claim on the disputed site.

In his Presidential address at the opening of the two-day National Council here, he also spoke on issues seeking to broadbase support for the party like wooing Dalits and minorities and the need to instill a new work culture in the organisation without resorting to sycophancy.

Leaving no one in doubt about the party's stand on issues like Ayodhya and alleged minority appeasement, 52-year-old Gadkari, the RSS choice for the post, said "the BJP stands fully committed to the construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya".

"Today, I appeal to the Muslim community to be generous towards the sentiments and feelings of Hindus and facilitate the construction of a grand Ram temple. If you (Muslims) give up your claim on the land at the disputed site, we will cooperate in the construction of a magnificent masjid in a nearby land," he said.

Gadkari's remarks are seen as a new attempt by the BJP to revive the Ram Janmabhoomi issue while at the same time making a bid to co-opt the minorities.

The opening session also saw the former President Rajnath Singh apologising to partymen for any wrong decisions taken during his term that witnessed bitter infighting among middle-rung leaders, especially after the Lok Sabha debacle last year.