Wednesday, November 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP warns VHP on temple
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Oct 31 — Bharatiya Janata Party President Bangaru Laxman today warned the VHP that “law would take its course” if it went ahead with its reported plan to construct the Ram temple at Ayodhya.

When asked about the VHP’s plans to go ahead with the construction of the temple next year irrespective of the stand of the government and the Supreme Court, the BJP President said that law would take its course.

Mr Laxman was replying to questions during his well attended press conference today at the party headquarters.

Asked whether it meant that the BJP would not cooperate in the construction of the temple, Mr Laxman said the issue was not on the party’s agenda.

On the RSS issue, Mr Laxman said the agenda of the BJP and RSS had been different from the Jansangh days though the RSS might be the party’s guide.

When told that the RSS might withdraw support to the BJP if it failed to back the Ayodhya issue, he brushed aside the query saying why do you think like that. “it will continue”.

When confronted with the issue of the hike given by the NDA government in the Haj subsidy, the BJP President dismissed it saying that it was not a case of minority appeasement.

Announcing the BJP’s nationwide mass awareness campaign from tomorrow to take the Nagpur message to the mases, Mr Laxman said the party was making an effort to reach the people for “bridging the gap” between the party and Muslims.

Stating that the campaign would continue till December 31, Mr Laxman touched upon a number of issues during the press conference, including the move for revival of third front and developments in the Congress, over party presidential elections.

On the move for revival of the third front, he said not only the Congress, but the entire Opposition today presents a picture of “disarray and demoralisation”.

Referring to the Congress over the party presidential elections, he said an attempt to perpetuate a dynastic rule was being made and for the purpose, “recourse to violence was also being taken”.

On the setback received by the party in the recent panchayat elections in Gujarat, he said a committee had been constituted to go into the reasons for the poor showing and its report was awaited.

On developments in Goa, Mr Laxman denied the charge that the BJP had engineered defections in the Congress to come to power in the tiny state. He said the fact was that the Congress “itself had split” in the state resulting in recent developments.

Asked whether the BJP would give the post of Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand to the JMM, he said that no such proposal had come before the party and “if it comes, we will certainly consider it”. Back

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