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February 17, 2002
1900 IST

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VHP begins 100-day yagya at Ayodhya

Brushing aside Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statement that everyone should wait for the court's order on the vexed Ayodhya issue, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Sunday began a yagya at Karsevakpuram as part of its programme for construction of the Ram temple.

A carved stone pillar was consecrated at the workshop at Ramghat on the occasion of basant panchami and moved to Karsevakpuram, where the yagya began in the presence of VHP president Ashok Singhal and Ram Janmabhoomi Trust president Mahant Ramchandra Parmahans.

Parmahans said: "It is not a matter to be decided by the court as it relates to religious sentiments of the Hindus."

Disputing Vajpayee's statement that his efforts to resolve the issue had failed due to the unrelenting stand of both sides, he told reporters in the presence of Singhal that "no talks were held with me by the prime minister".

Both Singhal and Parmahans said: "The VHP will go ahead with the temple construction programme."

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