The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani on temple road

New Delhi, July 7: Ending days of dithering, L.K. Advani has decided to visit the town to which his name is forever linked.

The BJP chief will travel to Ayodhya tomorrow, three days after the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site was attacked by terrorists, party leader Sushma Swaraj announced today.

She said this should “cap all speculation” that Advani might put the visit off.

The architect of the Ram temple “movement” would normally be expected to rush to the site after an incident like Tuesday’s.

But his recent attempt at an “image makeover” ' which led to a clash with Sangh hawks and nearly cost him his job ' followed by his no-show at Ayodhya for two days had sown doubts in many minds.

Swaraj, though, argued that Advani could not make it on Tuesday because he was away in Guwahati. The next day, the bandh called by the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had stalled him.

By this time, Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh had toured Ayodhya and “advised” Advani not to come on the first two days, Swaraj said. She argued that nothing should, therefore, be read into the delay.

Advani will be accompanied to Ayodhya by Swaraj and a phalanx of party leaders from Uttar Pradesh, including Rajnath, Kalyan, Kesrinath Tripathi and Vinay Katiyar.

The BJP chief set the tone for his trip by taking on the Prime Minister, who has accused the BJP and the Sangh parivar of playing “cheap” politics over the terrorist attack. Advani said the BJP-Sangh had only expressed the people’s outrage.

“People have been given an outlet to express their anger over the attack. This is not politics,” he argued.

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