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Joshi to challenge Rae Bareli court's decision
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
September 23, 2003 19:45 IST
Last Updated: September 24, 2003 02:31 IST
Human Resources Development Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi on Tuesday said he would challenge the Rae Bareli court's decision to frame charges against him in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
"This is a false case," Joshi said, adding he intends to move the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court before October 10, when charges will be framed against him and six others.
He said he has discussed the issue with Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, another accused, but ruled out a joint appeal.
Dalmia is confident that the September 19 order will not stand scrutiny in a higher court. "The central government should have withdrawn the case earlier as everybody knows it was a political case. The government lacks courage," he said in New Delhi.
However, it is Joshi's resignation following the verdict that seems to have put the Sangh Parivar in a quandary.
Addressing some people at his New Delhi residence on Tuesday, Joshi said, "There should be an emphasis on morality in politics. When the Rae Bareli court decided to frame charges against me, I sent my resignation to the prime minister."
With Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee refusing to take a stand as yet, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders appear to be clueless on how to deal with the issue. This could be one of the reasons why there is no major movement to persuade Joshi to withdraw his resignation.
On Monday, National Democratic Alliance convener George Fernandes met Joshi, but it was not clear what transpired. Since Fernandes is said to enjoy the prime minister's confidence, it is seen as an effort on the latter's part to find out what is on Joshi's mind.
Another reason's for Joshi's isolation could be that he acted on his own. The BJP's official stand is that no minister need resign, as it is a political case. Other BJP leaders against whom charges are to be framed have stuck to this line. Uma Bharti continues to be the party's chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh and Vinay Katiyar has not said anything about quitting as chief of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the party.
If the prime minister, who is expected to return on September 28, manages to persuade Joshi, it will be seen as just another resignation drama.
If, however, Joshi is adamant, the BJP may have to deal with an alternative power centre in the party, which will be patronised by those unhappy with its present stand on Ayodhya.
The VHP, which is unhappy with Vajpayee, has already said it will support anyone espousing the Hindu cause.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has sought to wash its hands off the controversy. "It is between Joshi, the prime minister and the party," spokesperson Ram Madhav said in New Delhi on Tuesday.