The saffron brigade – both the BJP and Shiv Sena – chose to remain subdued and made measured statements following the Allahabad High Court judgement on the title suits of the disputed Ayodhya site on Thursday.
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had, in the past, said that if his Sainiks had played a role in pulling down the disputed structure, he was proud of them. However, he was restrained on Thursday, saying the judgement should put an end to the issue.
“The Ram Janmabhoomi issue has been going on for several years and reaching no consensus. One good thing that has come of the Lucknow High Court judgement is that the curtains can be permanently drawn over the dispute,” the Sena chief said in a statement.
The day began with Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari calling for Indians to maintain peace in lieu of the Ayodhya land dispute verdict.
“I would like to ask all BJP activists to maintain peace and ensure that law and order is maintained after the court pronounces its verdict,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari was in Mumbai to attend the party’s women’s wing’s national executive meet.
Gadkari said any party that felt justice had not been done could approach the apex court. But, he did speak in favour of building a temple in Ayodhya, calling it ‘the will of a large majority of the country’s citizens’.
After the verdict, BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar called it a historic judgement, which denotes the victory of the people. “This is the beginning of a new historic era. People should accept this verdict with humility,” he said.
The Sena chief who was supposed to interact with the media after the judgement, put off the plan and instead, issued a single statement. According to Shiv Sena sources, the plan changed after his son Uddhav Thackeray received a call from senior BJP leader L K Advani in the evening.
Apparently, Advani told him that the party should refrain from making any controversial statements that could cause trouble.
This, he felt, could go against the saffron party for the upcoming Bihar elections where Nitish Kumar might not want to be associated with the BJP if there were any fresh communal issues.