The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Singhal steam on meet-eve

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, July 3: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has shown no sign of relenting on its Ayodhya demand even on the eve of a crucial meeting the RSS has convened to discuss the Centre and the Kanchi Sankaracharya’s dispute-busting efforts.

VHP working president Ashok Singhal mounted a fresh offensive, asking Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to resign for his government’s “failure” to enact a law to hand over the undisputed land to the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas for construction of a temple.

Singhal, who spoke to reporters at Thiruvananthapuram on the way to Kanyakumari — venue of the meeting called by the RSS — also trashed Swami Jayendra Saraswati’s mediatory efforts.

If the VHP was adamant, the BJP, too, stuck to the stand party chief M. Venkaiah Naidu had taken a few days earlier. “There is no question of the Prime Minister or the deputy Prime Minister bringing such a legislation. Legislations are brought not by individuals but by the Cabinet,” general secretary Pramod Mahajan said. The party also rejected the VHP’s demand for Vajpayee’s resignation.

BJP sources, however, conceded that they were waiting with “bated breath” for the outcome of the Kanyakumari conclave, which will come up with a resolution on Ayodhya, and the extent to which the VHP would be able to influence its content.

The BJP has asked the RSS to rein in the VHP with the promise of involvement in the government’s Ayodhya operation. But if Singhal’s pronouncements are an indication, the VHP has refused to bite the bait that the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas would oversee the temple construction patterned on its blueprint.

Singhal maintained that the Kanchi seer’s reported formula has not factored in the site on which the VHP constructed a makeshift temple, housing the deity of the infant Ram, after demolishing the Babri mosque. This is the 2.77 acres whose ownership has been contested by the Sunni Waqf Board before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.

Singhal’s contention was that the entire complex “belonged to the Hindus”. He expressed his displeasure with the seer’s negotiations with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, saying its representatives did not believe in the “Constitution and the law of the land”.

“The whole fight is for Ram Lalla. The reported draft of the settlement formula of the seer says nothing about the particular spot,” he said.

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