Unfazed by the apex court order that she be tried for ‘conspiracy’ in the Babri mosque demolition case, Union minister Uma Bharti on Wednesday said she is ready to sacrifice her life for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
"Grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is my dream. Ready to go to prison or be hanged for India and Ram Mandir," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader told reporters in New Delhi.
The firebrand leader, who had earlier today announced her plan to visit Ayodhya on Thursday to seek Lord Ram's blessings for the construction of a temple, later said she has postponed the visit by a few days.
She said that the visit was postponed as it could have turned into a "political event" given the "media hype" surrounding the issue.
According to sources in the BJP, Bharti cancelled the plan on the advice of party president Amit Shah.
Asserting she was ‘proud, unapologetic’ and does not repent her role in the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign, Bharti said she is ready to face whatever punishments come her way as she fights for the construction of Ram temple.
The Water Resources Minister was speaking after the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea seeking trail under ‘conspiracy’ charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and her in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
She dismissed the conspiracy charges.
"There was no conspiracy. Everything was in the open. I took part in Ram temple campaign with pride and confidence. I had given up the post of chief minister for the sake of the tri-colour.
"I will do whatever it takes to see the Ram temple is constructed...Ram temple will be built, koi maai ka laal use rok nahi sakta (no one has the power to stop it from being built),” Bharti said, adding she was present at the mosque site on December 6, 1992.
The Babri mosque was demolished on the day by a rampaging mob.
On the Congress party, Bharti said she will not reply to any of its allegations on the issue.
"Sonia Gandhi was at Rajiv Gandhi’s home when the 1984 Sikh riots happened. Does this mean Soniaji was part of conspiracy?” she asked.
Jaitley rules out Bharti’s resignation
Union minister Arun Jaitley virtually ruled out resignation of Uma Bharti from the cabinetfollowing the Supreme Court order in Babri Masjid demolitioncase and described as ‘hypothetical’ the possibility of theruling having any bearing in selection of candidates forpresidential and vice presidential polls.
“This case is going on since 1993. Somehow it is going onand no new situation has arisen. So the situation which wasprevailing will continue,” he told reporters.
He was asked whether the ruling would mean resignation ofBharti from the Union cabinet and Kalyan Singh as Rajasthan governor.
"There have been ministers, there have been deputy prime ministers... If chargesheet is the rule (to resign), then just calculate, how many Congress chief ministers will (have to go),” he said.
When asked whether Wednesday’s apex court ruling will impact selection of candidates for the posts of president and vice president, Jaitley merely said ‘it is hypothetical’.
PM used CBI to get Advani out of Prez race: Lalu
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav alleged that the Supreme Court order was a ‘well-thought-out politics’ of the prime minister to remove L K Advani’s name from the Presidential race.
"The CBI is under the influence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It stood in the Supreme Court and sought permission to run trial against Advani and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case,” Yadav alleged.
"Since Advani's name was in circulation as a probable for the post of President, Modi through well-thought-out politics struck out his (Advani’s) name,” he alleged.
"It is well known that the CBI does what the government desires,” the RJD chief claimed.
"The BJP makes no difference between itself and others while playing dangerous politics against anyone considered opposed to Modi,” he claimed.
The RJD chief also sought to turn the tables on the BJP, claiming if Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other National Democratic Alliance leaders did not attend Monday’s programme in Patna to honour freedom fighters due to the presence of ‘convict Lalu’, ‘then how could they make Kalyan Singh a Governor?’
“On one hand, they garland Gandhiji's statue, on the other they salute his killer Nathuram Godse,” he claimed.
Guilty will be punished, says Congress
The Congress said the law of the land should prevail and the guilty should be punished.
In an initial reaction to the Supreme Court order, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “The Supreme Court has spoken. Let law of the land take its own course without fear or favour. Let justice be done and guilty punished.”
“Law of the land is equal for everyone irrespective of stature, caste, creed, religion or region,” he said.
Will study order in detail before reacting: BJP
The BJP said it will studythe verdict in detail before offering comments.
Senior party leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, asserted that his party highly respects its leaders like Advani and Joshi, the two veterans, along with Bharti and others to be tried now following the apex court’s decision.
NCP welcomes SC ruling
The Nationalist Congress Party welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling and demanded that Bharti be sacked from the cabinet.
“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court. In the wake of it, Uma Bharti must be sacked from the (Union) ministry,” NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
“Even Kalyan Singh has no moral right to continue on a constitutional position like that of a Governor and he must step down to face the charges,” said Malik.