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BJP to bring Temple issue back on centre stage

Ayodhya will be among issues to be in focus ahead of the upcoming assembly polls in MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, say experts.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Buoyed by the ASI report on Ayodhya, the BJP is all set to bring the temple issue back to centrestage ahead of assembly polls in four states with the release here on Friday of a booklet which contains two articles by Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

"The book Ayodhya Ka Gavai is to be released on Friday and the two articles by the Deputy Prime Minister includes one giving the gist of the Ayodhya movement written when he was arrested and confined at a guest house during the Rath Yatra in 1990," party spokesman Prakash Javedkar said here on Thursday.

The book release will come just a couple of days after Advani had said in Bangalore that the ASI report on Ayodhya excavations has proved BJP's point that Ram temple had existed at "Ram janmasthan" and that it would strengthen the party's position on the temple movement.

"The report of ASI on Ram janmasthan was a significant thing to happen before a couple of weeks. We never had any doubt that Ram temple existed at Ram janmasthan. But now, this was proved scientifically by the ASI report," Advani told the one-day party central office-bearers meeting.

"..It was not a government report. It was a report asked by the high court itself," Advani said.

BJP sources said with ASI report, Ayodhya will be among issues which will be focussed in the coming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi where the party is going it alone.

The BJP has planned a massive rally in Lucknow on October 6 to be addressed by BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu as part of its temple campaign that the sources said could deflect public attention from the collapse of its alliance with BJP and help stem erosion in its upper caste vote bank.

"Our aim is to take Uttar Pradesh out of casteist and family politics and this will be the theme for refurbishment of the state," Javedkar said.

On some party MLAs in UP praising Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, he said "this will probably be the last time that these MLAs would be praising him."

A section of BJP feels Mulayam Singh Yadav's reign in UP was the right time to revive the temple movement since a similar exercise in early nineties was also undertaken during his rule catapulting the party to unprecedented electoral success.

Sources felt that waiting for court verdict could take long and therefore suggested that since the ASI report has clearly stated that a temple existed at the site, the concerned communities could resolve the issue through negotiations.

First Published: Oct 10, 2003 12:00 IST