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No BJP workers outside Advani & Joshi homes, Babri verdict gets a quiet celebration

LK Advani, the face of Ram Janmabhoomi movement, welcomed the verdict with Jai Shri Ram chants. MM Joshi says the verdict will embolden Hindu-Muslim friendship.

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New Delhi: In the autumn of 1990, BJP senior leader L.K. Advani launched a rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and a crowd of thousands accompanied him as he gave the clarion call for a Ram Mandir. 

Cut to 30 September 2020, when a special CBI court in Lucknow acquitted all the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, including Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, absence of party workers and leaders from the residence of both the leaders was hard to miss.

At 30 Prithviraj Road, Lodhi Estate, the official bungalow of Advani, the place was buzzing but only with journalists, their OB vans and security staff. Not a single BJP worker was seen there. The BJP leader, who was the face of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, was watching the news at his residence with his family. 

Soon after the news of his acquittal flashed on news channels, he issued a video statement. 

“It is a very important decision and a matter of happiness for us. When we heard the news of the court’s order, we welcomed it by chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” Advani said.

He later issued another statement, saying the “judgment came in the footsteps of another verdict which paved the way for my dream of seeing a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya”.

At around 12.35 pm, union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad came to meet Advani and left after a couple of minutes. He was the only leader who paid a visit to him in the afternoon after the verdict.

As the media waited outside Advani’s residence with many reporters asking the security staff if sweets would be distributed as they had to take photographs, an unknown person came outside the residence carrying a box of sweets and asked the media to have it.

But instead of having sweets, journalists were taking pictures of him and making his video as he offered them sweets. 

As the media continued to wait for Advani to get a reaction, the 92-year-old finally came out of his residence and chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’, following which he went inside. 


Also read: Babri Masjid verdict a vindication of truth & justice, Ram bhakts have suffered, VHP says


‘BJP benefited a lot due to this movement’

The scenario was not too different outside the residence of Murli Manohar Joshi. Apart from the journalists stationed outside his house, it was a usual day for him.  

Joshi first performed puja, his daily ritual, and then joined the court hearing via video conference. Before the verdict was announced, Joshi told ThePrint: “I am ready to go to jail”. 

Joshi, who was the BJP president during the Babri Masjid demolition, termed the verdict a “historic decision” and said the case was politically motivated to frame BJP leaders.

Talking exclusively to ThePrint, he said: “The Ramjanmabhoomi movement was an andolan of asmita’ (pride) of Hindu identity and we have spearheaded this movement to awaken that identity.”

“There was no criminal conspiracy and other things to demolish the Babri structure. Ram belongs to everyone. Whether they are Hindu or Muslim. Now Muslims are also welcoming the construction of the temple. This is the culture of this country. From this verdict, this friendship and togetherness will be emboldened,” Joshi added.

Although a sense of relief was visible on his face, he said: “I never feel fear, I was ready to go to jail. I did not feel any fear when I had gone to Lal Chowk to hoist the national flag in Kashmir nor during the emergency and Ayodhya movement.

“Every country has its own identity, when this is questioned and challenged, a movement starts. The Ram Mandir movement was such a movement. In the Ram Mandir movement, all the people were united, there was no religious tone in the andolan. We have crossed all obstacles. Today the last obstacle has been removed. It is true that the BJP has benefited a lot due to this movement. Now the time has come to fulfil the dreams of the nation.”

On the question of political conspiracy, the senior BJP leader said: “It was conspired by the Congress to implicate BJP leaders. I don’t want to name them. It remained as a spot in my entire political life. The CBI did not gather evidence to prove our role, it is the victory of the national conscience and its identity, and not just ours.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke to Joshi over phone regarding the verdict. Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, VHP leader Champat Rai also called Joshi to congratulate him.

Senior advocate Mahipal Ahulwalia, who represented the BJP leaders in the case for the last 28 years, first visited Advani at his residence to congratulate him and then went to meet Joshi.


Also read: Congress attack on RSS-BJP over Babri Masjid verdict shows its ‘frustration’, BJP says


Reactions to the verdict

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and many other senior leaders of the party are yet to comment on the verdict. 

But other senior leaders and CMs welcomed the verdict.

Adityanath tweeted: “Satyamev Jayate.. The people involved in the conspiracy (over Babri demolition) should apologise to the people of the country.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the verdict proved that justice prevailed however late it may be.

 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also welcomed the verdict, saying the truth has won.

“True can be troubled but it cannot be defeated. Today, truth has won again. I hail the Indian judicial system,” Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.


Also read: CBI Judge SK Yadav offers prayers, spends time with family before Babri Masjid verdict


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. A man must answer to his conscience before he falls asleep each night. Created many widows and orphans. Has got a spiffy mansion for life as a consolation prize.

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