The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Thursday agreed to mediate between the government and Vishwa Hindu Parishad to end the ongoing impasse in Ayodhya.
This was decided at a meeting between RSS leaders and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his Race Course Road residence in New Delhi on Thursday.
"Both sides will make efforts to thrash out a solution. We will speak to VHP leaders. Vajpayee will also speak to them. Our immediate effort would be to maintain law and order across the country," RSS joint general secretary and in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party affairs Madan Das Devi said.
While the RSS delegation included its general secretary Mohan Bhagwat and another joint general secretary H V Seshasdari, the government was represented by Vajpayee and Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani.
BJP president Jana Krishnamurthy was also present during the talks.
Devi said while the RSS delegation informed the prime minister of "our expectations and difficulties" vis-a-vis the Ram temple issue, the government apprised them of its "legal position and limitations".
He said that the government had to discharge its "constitutional responsibilities" and was not in a position to hand over the land acquired by it to VHP's Ram Janambhoomi Trust.
The prime minister later had a meeting with the Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
Vajpayee assured the Muslim leader that the army would be deployed, if necessary, in the disturbed areas of Gujarat to restore peace.
Large-scale violence was reported from the state following the attack on the Sabarmati Express on Wednesday.
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