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Home > News > Report

Mathura, Varanasi not on agenda: BJP

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | January 02, 2003 21:32 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday that construction of temples at the disputed sites in Mathura and Varanasi were not on the party's agenda.

The party's Uttar Pradesh unit chief, Vinay Katiyar, had recently said that the BJP would go ahead with the construction of temples.

Naqvi said, "The BJP is clear that it believes in the concept of secularism as enshrined in the Constitution. The country will not run on religion and we do not aspire to be an Indian version of Pakistan. The barbaric incident at Godhra was not a secular act, but what happened thereafter was also not Hindutva.

"If the country is divided on caste and communal lines, it is because of pseudo-secularism," he said, adding that the party disagreed with secularism as defined by the Congress and the Left parties.

Naqvi said cultural nationalism was an adequate guarantee for the protection of the minorities.

Asked about the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's ultimatum to the government to hand over the "undisputed" acquired land in Ayodhya, Naqvi said, "It is our view that the issue should be solved either through mutual understanding or through a judicial verdict."

Asked why central minister Vasundhararaje Scindia was not relinquishing her post when she had been appointed as chief of the Rajasthan BJP unit, Naqvi said there was no rule that one person should not hold two posts.

Hesaid Scindia would relinquish her ministerial post if the need arose. For the time being, she was discharging well her duties in both capacities.

With Inputs from Press Trust of India

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