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I will quit rather than bow to pressure on Ayodhya: PM
August 04, 2003 12:29 IST
Last Updated: August 04, 2003 14:02 IST
Under attack from the Opposition, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday told the Lok Sabha that he would rather 'quit' than bow to pressure on Ayodhya.
He assured the House that there was no change in his government's stand on the issue.
"There is no compulsion. The day I feel I am under any compulsion, I will quit 'raj paat' and go," Vajpayee said while rejecting Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav's charge that he was compelled to say what he said in Ayodhya at the funeral of Ramjanambhoomi Nyas president Ramchandradas Paramhans.
Replying to an impromptu debate on the notice of adjournment given by the Opposition, the prime minister said: "I have stated hundreds of times what I said at Ayodhya while paying homage to Paramhansji."
Vajpayee regretted that a controversy has arisen out of his tributes to the late Ramchandradas Paramhans and said: "People express their feelings and this should not be objected to. A prime minister is also a human being and he has got his emotions and feelings."
Vajpayee asked if anyone in the Opposition had gone through his entire speech and asserted that he did not say who would construct the temple and where.
The prime minister said the Ayodhya dispute must be resolved in the spirit of brotherhood.
Taking a jibe at the Opposition, the prime minister said it should have complimented him for exercising restraint at the condolence meeting.
"Please visualise the situation. It was on the bank of the River Saryu. There was a big crowd. People were agonised over the demise of the religious leader. We were there to mourn the death of a person who throughout his life fought for the construction of the temple," he said.