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Little gain for Sena-BJP

The Ayodhya verdict may have made the saffron alliance reason feel vindicated but it is unlikely to impact its political fortunes, analysts say.

mumbai Updated: Oct 02, 2010 01:30 IST
Dharmendra Jore

The Ayodhya verdict may have made the saffron alliance reason feel vindicated but it is unlikely to impact its political fortunes, analysts say.

Hindutva organisations are celebrating the Allahabad High Court’s verdict that the disputed site at Ayodhya was the birthplace of Lord Ram.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who requested anonymity because he feared his statement would be detrimental to the party’s public stance on the issue, said the verdict would revive the BJP’s parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “The BJP draws its synergy from the RSS. The judgement has given the RSS the socio-cultural space it had almost lost,” the BJP leader said.

The Shiv Sena-BJP combine had formed the first non-Congress government in Maharashtra in 1995, riding on the post-Babri wave. They lost power to the Congress-NCP alliance in the next three state polls, starting in 1999.

Political observers say the BJP could have cashed in on the verdict had it gone against the Hindu stand. “It’s a judicial decision without any political implications,” analyst Surendra Jondhale said. “An anti-Hindu verdict would have given the BJP strong leverage but the party will now have to be content with a stamp of legitimacy on its stand on Ram Janmabhoomi.”

Psephologist Uday Nirgudkar said the verdict will not impact the saffron party’s prospects. “Elections are away. By then, the honeymoon period will be over,” he said, adding the issue will not even matter to voters in the forthcoming Kalyan-Dombivli civic polls.

The saffron brigade did not make any volatile public comments and celebrated the verdict indoors. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America expressed satisfaction. “We welcome the opinion of the majority of justices that by belief and practice, the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is the birthplace of Bhagwan Sri Ram,” the organisation’s press statement said.

The Hindu Janjagruti Samiti blamed the Congress for delaying the resolution and demanded a temple be built on the site the court has approved as Ram’s birthplace.

The Congress-led government in the state has taken this opportunity to connect with people who may be unhappy with the verdict by postponing the ‘Gram to Sewagram’ convention to be held at Wardha on Saturday, Gandhi Jayanti to October 7 and plans to rope in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for it.

The party will now observe a communal harmony week.