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Advani to pray at disputed site in Ayodhya

Biman Mukherji in Ayodhya | April 06, 2004 09:21 IST

Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani is expected to pray at the makeshift temple erected at the disputed site in Ayodhya on Tuesday.

He had arrived in Ayodhya on Monday evening. An estimated 7,000 people turned out to listen to Advani when he reached Ayodhya on the second leg of Bharat Uday Yatra to canvass support for the Bharatiya Janata Party for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

"Under (Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee's leadership, I have seen such changes in Indian society that I am convinced that a Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya without any bitterness or discord and this issue will become an instrument of unity between Hindus and Muslims," he told them.

"If we have god's blessing, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will once again be returned to power. After the new government is elected, a Ram (Hindu god) temple will be built at Ayodhya," Advani had said.

"Every time, I have done a yatra, I have come to Ayodhya because it is close to my heart," he said to another round of applause. "I consider today as the most significant day of my journey."

Further, in an interview to BBC World's Asia Today programme to be telecast on Tuesday, Advani said the demolition had hurt him 'tremendously'.

"What happened in December 1992 should never have happened. I was so upset with the demolition of the mosque that I left Ayodhya immediately. I even sent a letter of resignation (as leader of the opposition) to the Speaker (of the Lok Sabha). It (the demolition) hurt me tremendously," Advani was quoted by the BBC as saying.

"I believe the Ayodhya issue will finally be an integrating issue between Muslims and Hindus in the country," he added.

Advani denied that the Ayodhya issue would be a stumbling block for him personally should opportunity arise for him to become prime minister.

The Ayodhya Dispute: Complete Coverage

AFP


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