Parties forced to reset strategies

BJP sounds triumphant, Congress cautious; electoral calculations rule

Parties forced to reset strategies

Soon after the judgment was announced, top leaders in both the BJP and the Congress began scrutinising the ruling on the age-old dispute that had changed electoral fates of political parties over the last two decades.

The core committee members of the BJP met at the residence of L K Advani and deliberated the nuances of the verdict for almost two hours.

Similar parleys took place in the UPA group, too. The Congress official response was rather muted in comparison to the BJP’s, which saw the verdict as a judicial endorsement of their stand.

Hindus’ right
“So far as the judgment upholds the right of the Hindus to construct a temple at the Garbh-Grih (sanctum sanctorum), it is a significant step forward towards the construction of a temple at the birth place of Lord Ram,” said a party statement read out by Advani.

The BJP said the Archaeological Survey of India’s expert opinion and that of other agencies engaged by the ASI “had clearly stated that there were remains of a Hindu religious structure where the disputed structure stood”.

The BJP also saw the verdict as a “new chapter for national integration”, the party said.
Both the Congress and the BJP said the contesting parties should not see themselves as either victors or losers.

The difference between their political responses was that while the Congress welcomed the judgment and said anyone having reservations could appeal to the Supreme Court, the BJP and the RSS straightaway said the verdict paved the way for constructing “a grand temple” at the disputed site.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat sought to “bury the past and bitterness”. He, too, said the verdict, almost cleared the way for Hindus and Muslims to build the temple. To him, the court ruling was “a victory of the country’s identity”.

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