New Delhi: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, one of the prime architects of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, kept a low profile Saturday as the Supreme Court allowed the construction of a Ram temple.
Advani’s residence on Prithviraj Road, Delhi, was unexpectedly deserted through the day, with just one political leader — fellow BJP “exile” Uma Bharti — visiting the 92-year-old.
There was no extra security deployed outside his house, hardly any hustle and bustle, and absolutely no sign of celebrations.
This was a far cry from just a day before, Advani’s 92nd birthday, when a swarm of senior leaders came to wish him, including PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
His private secretary Deepak Chopra told ThePrint that no one was expected to arrive at the house Saturday and Advani himself was unlikely to step out either.
Welcoming the verdict in the evening, Advani said he stood “vindicated”.
“This is a moment of fulfilment for me because God Almighty had given me an opportunity to make my own humble contribution to the mass movement, the biggest since India’s Freedom Movement, aimed at the outcome which the Supreme Court’s verdict today has made possible,” he added.
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Advani also said now that the dispute had come to an end, it was “time to leave all contention and acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace”.
‘Came to bow to him’
Former union minister Uma Bharti stopped by at 12.40 pm and stayed for about an hour.
She told reporters that she had came to “bow before Advani, who has been instrumental in shaping the Ayodhya movement”.
“He initiated the pseudo-secularism-vs-nationalism debate in national politics and we have reached here because of him,” she said.
Advani, India’s former deputy prime minister, is one of the most notable figures associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The movement sought the construction of a Ram temple on the 2.77-acre plot where the Babri Masjid stood until its demolition in 1992.
He led the 1990 Ram Rath Yatra from Gujarat to Ayodhya to mobilise support for the movement, but was arrested by the Lalu Prasad government in Bihar before he could reach his destination. The kar sevaks accompanying him, however, completed the yatra.
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