The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Uma stands by VHP on temple

Bhopal, June 23: Uma Bharti today came out in support of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, saying the outfit should be consulted in all efforts to solve the Ayodhya tangle as its contribution to the Ram temple movement could not be ignored.

“I have a long association with the VHP and its leaders. I am of the firm opinion that that they (VHP leaders) should be consulted. After all, these are the people who spearheaded the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. It is largely due to their efforts that the entire nation and political parties are talking about Ayodhya and construction of the Ram Temple,” the BJP leader said.

Bharti said the Kanchi Sankaracharya’s efforts to resolve the dispute is welcome, provided it leads to construction of the Ram temple at the exact spot where Hindu devotees believe Ram was born — that is, the site where the Babri Masjid once stood.

But Bharti trod with caution. “The Sankaracharya has a divine status and I have utmost respect for him,” she added.

The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh, however, declined to comment on the VHP’s angry words about the seer.

“Please do not drag me into this. I do not wish to comment on it,” she said. Bharti added that she would support any move to resolve the dispute provided it was focused on the “basic fact” about the construction of the Ram temple.

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