The party had said that the case had been going on since 1993 and no new situation had arisen after the court’s verdict.
New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court restored criminal conspiracy charges against BJP veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union minister Uma Bharti and Sangh Parivar leaders in the Babri masjid demolition case, a strategy meeting was held at Dr Joshi’s residence to decide the next course of action. This meeting was attended by Sadhvi Ritambhara, Champat Rai and Dinesh Tyagi, accused in the case and prominent faces of the Ramjana-mbhoomi movement.
Lawyers of these Sangh Parivar leaders, sources said, also attended the meeting.
Interestingly, party veteran, L.K. Advani, did not attend this meeting. Dr Joshi had met Mr Advani on Wednesday for nearly an hour to discuss the apex court’s order and its aftermath. The BJP top brass had assured them that the party would back them after a crucial meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and senior Cabinet ministers, on the issue was held at the PM’s residence. The BJP had also rejected Opposition’s demand to sack Ms Bharti from the Union Cabinet.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday asserted that the BJP believes in the innocence of its leaders in the Babri Masjid case. Both Mr Advani and Dr Joshi had been sidelined within the party and are members of the “Margdarshak Mandal,” which has never held a meeting since the day it was formed.
“We believe in the innocence of our important leaders, including Advani ji and Joshi ji...They have been facing trial and they will face trial in terms of process of law,” Mr Prasad replied to the media query. The party had said that the case had been going on since 1993 and no new situation had arisen after the court’s verdict.
When asked whether the court’s decision would have any impact on the selection of candidates for the coming Presidential and Vice Presidential elections, Mr Prasad said it a “hypothetical” query. Speculation was rife that Mr Advani and Dr Joshi’s names were also being considered for the President and Vice President’s post respectively and the court’s decision would dent their chances
The BJP top brass had also asked its leaders to exercise restrain and not to make controversial statements on the issue. Ms Bharti, who had announced that she would visit Ayodhya and pray at Rammandir, was also asked to cancel her trip by the party high command.