The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mayavati defends temple move

New Delhi, Feb. 7: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati today defended the Centre’s decision to move the Supreme Court on Ayodha, while the BJP’s former ally and Lok Janashakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan demanded a meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) to discuss the “serious issue”.

Mayavati, who arrived in the capital tonight to attend the chief ministers’ conference on internal security, said: “As far as the Ayodhya issue is concerned, no one should have any objection to the decision of the government to move the Supreme Court.”

The Bahujan Samaj Party president said her party and her government were clear that the parties involved would abide by the court verdict, whether it was regarding the disputed or undisputed land.

Paswan said all those who swear by the Constitution and believe in democracy and the rule of law should oppose the government move. He said the matter is serious and has the potential to disrupt peace in the country and that the NIC is the right forum to discuss the issue.

Questioning the “silence”of the BJP’s secular allies, Paswan urged them to come out openly against the government’s move to seek the apex court’s permission for religious activities on the acquired land in Ayodhya.

Paswan said the allies were “keeping mum” when the BJP was executing its own agenda and only making “occasional barks”.

Akali Dal (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann also criticised the Centre’s move. “Sikhs will oppose the government’s move for construction of a temple at the site of the demolished Babri mosque,” he said in a statement.

Former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda also assailed the government for moving the apex court and said the Centre should either adhere to the NDA agenda till its term ended or seek a fresh mandate.

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