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"Temple in Ayodhya"

Dy PM LK Advani has said he was confident a temple at Ayodhya would be built after talks between Hindus and Muslims.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2004 23:10 IST

Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said that he was confident a temple at Ayodhya would be built after talks between Hindus and Muslims.

Addressing a gathering of around 10,000 people at the Dussehra Maidan in the heart of the city, Advani said: "I am confident that a temple will be built in Ayodhya through talks, which would cement the ties between the Hindus and the Muslims."

The deputy prime minister, who is on a Bharat Uday Yatra or India Shinning campaign, claimed his first rath yatra in 1990 from the temple town of Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya had influenced the country in a big way.

"After talking to many people I have come to the conclusion that construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya is the wish of the people of this country and it will be fulfilled soon," he said.

Advani also said he was confident the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would form the next government at the centre.

"Two crucial matches are going on - the cricket match between India and Pakistan and a political match between the BJP and the Congress," he said.

"The result of the first match is uncertain but the results of the second match is certain - the BJP will win and Vajpayee will become the prime minister," said Advani.

Attacking the main opposition Congress, he blamed it for all the ills in the country, adding that only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could provide a stable government.

"The country saw seven prime ministers between 1988 and 1998, but there has been one prime minister since 1998," he said.

"We will show what good governance is under the leadership of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," Advani said.

He equated Vajpayee with the first prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru. "The situation today is somewhat like the one when Nehru was leading the Congress. At that time, he was the only choice for the post of prime minister. Today, the same is true for Vajpayee."

The deputy prime minister said he was not in favour of weakening the Congress.

The Congress should do some introspection. "After all, a strong opposition is a must in a democracy," he said.

Advani expressed happiness over the fact that the country was moving towards bi-polar politics. "Today, it has mainly become the BJP and its allies versus the Congress and its allies," he said.

Chhindwara is considered a Congress bastion, represented by Kamalnath in the recently dissolved Parliament.

BJP has decided to field Prahlad Patel, union minister of state for coal and mines, from the constituency.

First Published: Mar 21, 2004 02:51 IST