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Opposition slams government, VHP on Ayodhya
February 27, 2003 18:24 IST
During a discussion on the Ayodhya issue on Thursday, the opposition in the Lok Sabha singled out Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for saying at an election rally in Himachal Pradesh that a temple existed at the disputed site.
Initiating the discussion, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav accused the government of raising an "unnecessary controversy" by moving the Supreme Court for vacating its stay on religious activities on the acquired land in Ayodhya.
"If the government is so keen for an early decision, why hasn't it moved the court for an early verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case [in which some Union ministers are involved]," he asked.
Attacking the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for announcing that it would not abide by the court verdict, he said that the Sangh Parivar outfit was, in fact, a "sadhu cell" of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which raised communal issues ahead of any elections.
He said the VHP leaders should be put behind bars.
The SP leader said the prime minister had to get "enlightened" from VHP leader Ashok Singhal on the issue.
Yadav, as also S Jaipal Reddy of the Congress, sought to embarrass allies of the BJP for acting as "appendage" of the National Democratic Alliance government.
Though the government was running due to their support, they had failed to prevent the BJP from reviving its contentious agenda, they said.
Senior BJP member Swami Chinmayanand countered the charges and made a strong plea for an initiative from Parliament for an early resolution of the issue.
"Parliament is sovereign and its collective wisdom should be applied," he said.
Swami Chinmayanand said there was "nothing objectionable" in the VHP's demand to get back the undisputed land and quoted certain parts of the court order to buttress his claim.
He said whenever a resolution of the dispute was in sight, certain forces had worked against it.
Hailing former prime minister Chandrashekhar for taking the initiative to resolve the issue during his tenure, the BJP member said when the talks had neared a breakthrough, his government was reduced to a minority.
He wanted tabled in Parliament the archaeological department's report on the study made by the Ground Penetrating Radar System at the disputed site.
The Ayodhya Issue: The Complete Coverage