The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Sadhvi steps in, cajoles Singhal to keep open mind on Ayodhya

New Delhi, June 24: If Ayodhya is in the news, can Uma Bharti be far behind' The sadhvi today took time off her Madhya Pradesh election campaign to travel to Delhi and try and persuade Ashok Singhal to consider the Kanchi seer’s Ayodhya formula with an “open mind”.

Sources close to Bharti said when she met the Vishwa Hindu Parishad working president this morning, she mentioned giving up claim to Kashi’s Gyan Vapi mosque and Mathura’s Shahi Idgah mosque in lieu of getting the Ayodhya land to build the Ram temple. Singhal reportedly replied: “We will consider it.”

Asked if this was a bit of a climbdown — Singhal had earlier said Kashi and Mathura were non-negotiable — sources said the Kanchi Sankaracharya’s formula would be considered in its “entirety” at two meetings. One, of the VHP in Raipur on June 25-26; and the other, of the RSS in Kanyakumari on July 4-5.

RSS sources said sarsanghchalak K.S. Sudarshan was likely to call on Swami Jayendra Saraswati in Kancheepuram en route to Kanyakumari with the message that the VHP should be engaged in the talks and a final solution was not possible if it was kept out.

That the RSS and the VHP were working in tandem was apparent when a senior Sangh official, Indresh Kumar, was deputed to attend the Raipur meet.

RSS sources said the Kanyakumari meeting would deliberate on the outcome of the Raipur session and take a final view on the Ayodhya formula. Asked if the RSS had an open mind on Kashi and Mathura, a source said: “We have always welcomed the Sankaracharya’s moves, whether it is the present one or the earlier one.”

But the sources claimed that according to their information, the proposal sent to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board did not mention Kashi or Mathura or even handing over the protected monuments in the Archaeological Survey of India’s custody to Muslims.

“We have learnt that the Sankaracharya has suggested that the Sunni Waqf Board should withdraw its claims over the undisputed land and give it to the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas for constructing the temple. The 2.77 acres of disputed land would be frozen until the court settled its ownership. The other element is that Muslims could rebuild their mosque outside the panch kosi parikrama,” a source said.

This would mean the site of the mosque would be outside what is called the Ram temple complex but within Ayodhya on the banks of the Saryu. RSS sources said this formula would be acceptable to them as well as the VHP.

Bharti was reportedly pressed into service by the Centre because she was the only senior BJP member who still had a rapport with the VHP brass who had expressed annoyance with A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.

Email This Page