Debating India


No temple agenda: Vajpayee


Sunday 3 August 2003

Article du Times of India, ?dition du 3 ao?t 2003.

NEW DELHI: Two days after he declared in Ayodhya that the Ram temple would be built at Ram Janmabhoomi sthan and all obstacles would be removed, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Sunday clarified that the tangle could be resolved either through a court order or by mutual agreement between Hindus and Muslims.

’’There is no change in the government’s stand on the temple issue,’’ Vajpayee told a delegation of Delhi BJP leaders at his residence here on Sunday morning. The PM’s clarification is clearly aimed at defusing the Opposition’s criticism of his remarks and reassuring the NDA allies that there would be no deviation from the coalition’s National Agenda of Governance.

The Opposition was, in fact, planning to launch a personalised attack on the PM in Parliament on Monday. NDA allies like the DMK had publicly disapproved of his remarks and sought a clarification from him. Seizing the first opportunity to clarify his position, the PM said: ’’Some criticism is being made on my statement. I want to make it clear that there is no change in our stand. The temple should be built there and we have been saying this, but it should be constructed with the cooperation of all.’’

Speaking to the party delegates, Vajpayee said: ’’One way to resolve the vexed issue is that the two communities should unite to find a solution.’’ ’’Efforts are on in this direction and I am confident that they are moving towards success,’’ he added. The other path, he said, was that the matter be left to the court and its verdict be acceptable to both sides. ’’There is no other way,’’ Vajpayee said.

He said that when he spoke the other day, people thought that the government’s stand on the issue had undergone a change. ’’There is no reason for a change in the stand. Our stand remains the same, but in a single speech I cannot say everything,’’ he said. Vajpayee said he had expressed his feelings briefly at the condolence meeting of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahant Ramchandra Paramhans.

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