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Govt's appeal in SC on Ayodhya
not communal politics: Jaitley


February 06, 2003 18:58 IST

Rejecting the Opposition charge that the Union government had indulged in communal politics by moving the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya issue, Union Law and Justice Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said it was the only logical course open to prevent a confrontation between Hindus and Muslims.

Asserting that the government would make every effort for a negotiated settlement on the vexed issue of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Jaitley said the appeal in the SC for lifting a stay order prohibiting any religious activity on the undisputed land was a step forward in this direction.

"It [the appeal] is perfect and only in consonance with the NDA agenda of finding a speedy solution [to the Ayodhya tangle]," he said.

Jaitley disagreed with suggestions that the apex court was approached because of Vishwa Hindu Parishad's demand that the undisputed land be handed over to the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas before February 21.

"The court was approached because we are committed to expeditious resolution of the Ayodhya issue. Moreover, the  issue is alive and existing," he said.

Stating that the government had only approached the court with a request to expeditiously hear the matter, Jaitley said it was up to the court to fix a time frame.

Asked to comment on Samata Party's fears that the situation could go out of hand in Ayodhya if the VHP was allowed to begin construction on the undisputed land, Jaitley said he did not feel that the Samata thought it inappropriate of the government to move the court.

"Samata is part of the government and part of the decision-making process and a responsible partner of the NDA government. Government's action is only in consonance with NDA's agenda," he said.

Meanwhile, VHP senior vice-president Giriraj Kishore termed as belated the government's move to approach the apex court and struck to its February 21 deadline.

He also dismissed Kanchi Shankaracharya's mediation in the issue.


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