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Dejected BJP says dialogue will continue

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi/Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | July 07, 2003 23:05 IST

A day after the All India Muslim Personal All Board rendered a severe blow to efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement to the Ayodhya dispute, a dejected Bharatiya Janata Party made a valiant effort to salvage the situation.

"We don't consider the rejection (of the Kanchi seer's proposals) a failure. The talks will resume," party spokesman and general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.

'Some people's Taliban-like mentality' would not dissuade the dialogue, he insisted but refused to identify the people he was referring to.

He skipped a question on whether the BJP agreed with the Kanchi seer's reported statement that more mosques were not required in Ayodhya.

In Lucknow, BJP leaders appealed to the AIMPLB to reconsider its stand on the Kanchi seer's proposals.

"The AIMPLB's decision appears to be arbitrary and guided by hardliners who had their own vested interests," BJP leader in the state assembly Lalji Tandon told

"I know a large number of Muslims who believed in a positive and reasonable approach and are willing to compromise, at least on the Ayodhya issue. These saner voices apparently got drowned in the din created by the hardliners," he lamented.

State BJP chief Vinay Katiyar, an accused in the Babri masjid demolition case, said, "I am not surprised at the AIMPLB's decision. I hope ultimately good sense prevails and they reconsider their stand."

Former state BJP chief Kalraj Mishra also urged the AIMPLB to take a fresh look at the shankaracharya's proposals.

"If it found the seer's formula offensive enough to deserve outright rejection, it should come forward with some proposals for an out-of-court settlement," he added.

Mishra appealed to the Muslims 'to appreciate the sentiments of 80million Hindus with respect to Ayodhya'.

On the other hand, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and other hardline organisations looked as satisfied as the hardliners in the AIMPLB.

"The decision was not unexpected. We did not expect anything better from the AIMPLB," remarked state VHP chief Purshottam Narain Singh.

"It does not bother us at all. We will go ahead with temple construction," Bajrang Dal chief Ved Prakash Sachan said.

The Ayodhya Issue: The Complete Coverage

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