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Legislative option to Ayodhya issue not feasible: Advani
K G Suresh in Solapur | April 12, 2006 18:48 IST
Under attack from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for his appeal to Muslims for a negotiated settlement to the vexed Ayodhya issue, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani Wednesday said the party abandoned the legislative option due to opposition from National Democratic Alliance allies and it was "not feasible".
Asserting there was no "basic change" in the party's stand, the leader of opposition told reporters in Solapur on the seventh day of his Bharat Suraksha Yatra that enacting a legislation to pave the way for the construction of the Ram temple was a "very, very long (process) and it is not possible till we get a majority of our own".
He was responding to questions as to why the party has abandoned the legislative option.
"We are not emphatic on the course (of solving the imbroglio). There is nothing wrong in the legislative option, but it is not feasible. However, if the Ram temple is built through consensus, there cannot be anything greater for amity and goodwill among the two communities," he said.
The former deputy prime minister said many of the BJP's allies in the NDA government "did not agree with the Ayodhya movement" itself and hence were not agreeable to any legislation to solve the issue.
"Our allies did not agree to it. They were against any legislation. So we confined ourselves to the two other methods -- a judicial verdict or a negotiated settlement. But a negotiated settlement would be more enduring," he said.
Firebrand VHP leader Praveen Togadia had charged Advani with straying from the party's ideology on the Ram temple issue after he appealed to Muslims to abandon their claim over the disputed site in Ayodhya at the launch of his 6,000- km-long Bharat Suraksha Yatra in Rajkot on April 6.
Asked about Togadia's criticism, Advani said, "Everybody has his views. I have no objections. Mandir waheen banayenge (We will construct the temple there only)," the senior BJP leader asserted when asked whether there was any dilution in the party's stand.
At a public rally in Solapur Tuesday night, BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan said the non-construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya during the NDA regime still "pained him" and asserted he would work for it "till the last drop of blood" in his body.
Advani had catapulted the BJP to the centrestage by his Somnath-Ayodhya Ram Rath Yatra.
However, VHP has been highly critical of the party, particularly Advani, for "using the Ayodhya movement to gain power" and not facilitating the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya during the six years of the NDA government.
In a recent interview to PTI, Togadia said extending support to Advani's yatra was a "blunder" and the VHP will not "repeat the mistake".
Advani's recent statement appealing to Muslims for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya issue is also being seen as part of his continuing efforts to shed his hardliner image, with his maiden attempt being the controversial remarks on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan in 2005.