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Ayodhya attack: BJP divided on blame

July 08, 2005 19:44 IST

Reflecting apparent divisions within the Bharatiya Janata Party on whether Pakistan is responsible for the terrorist attack in Ayodhya, veteran party leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday squarely held the Inter-Services Intelligence responsible for the incident, while BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani avoided any reference to the neighbouring country during his visit to Ayodhya.

"I have said earlier that the attack on Ayodhya was supported and guided by the ISI of Pakistan," Joshi told reporters when asked why the BJP was avoiding any reference to Pakistan.

Joshi's comments were in contrast with that of Advani who even sought to target the United Progressive Alliance and the Uttar Pradesh governments for repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Interestingly, former BJP national secretary and Advani's close aide Sudhendhra Kulkarni, who is believed to have been behind Advani's praise of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, on Friday praised the BJP chief for his refusal to blame Pakistan for the Ayodhya incident.

"The BJP president's refusal to blame Pakistan for the Ayodhya incident is as eloquent as the Pakistan government's welcome gesture in June of inviting L K Advani to do the shilanyas for the restoration of Hindu temples in Katas Raj," Kulkarni said in a hard-hitting article.

Advani, who had sought to shed his hardline Hindutva image in Pakistan, apparently does not want to lose the goodwill he earned in that country, party sources said.

Some party leaders maintained that Advani 'did not want to derail the peace process with any statements'.

 


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