Saturday, December 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Allies want PM to withdraw remark
Bedlam in Houses; all-party meeting on Dec 11

NEW DELHI, Dec 8 (PTI) — In the controversy over Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statements on the Ayodhya issue, key allies of the BJP today took umbrage and virtually demanded that he should withdraw his remarks on the Ram Temple that had created communal tension in the country.

Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi has convened an all-party meeting on Monday (December 11) in a bid to end the current impasse over the non-functioning of Parliament.

Today’s all-party meeting to resolve the issue between the ruling NDA and the Opposition, after both Houses were adjourned for the fifth day today without transacting any business, ended in a deadlock.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan was quoted having said that he would convey all that had been said at the meeting to the government.

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee told mediapersons after the meeting that a message should go from the Prime Minister to bring down communal tension.

Mr Sushil Indora (INLD) said: “We are with Mamata Banerjee. And if the BJP has any agenda of its own, we will not allow it to be imposed on the NDA”.

The NDA constituents’ tough posture comes in the wake of Mr Vajpayee’s reported remarks yesterday that the temple could be constructed at the site of the demolished disputed structure at Ayodhya and a mosque built elsewhere.

Congress Chief Whip P.R. Dasmunshi and RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the NDA partners — Trinamool Congress, TDP and INLD — wanted Mr Vajpayee to “withdraw” his remarks.

Mr Somnath Chatterjee (CPM) said Mr Vajpayee’s statement was “more serious” than the scope of the debate demanded by the Congress under Rule 184, which entails voting.

Terming the Prime Minister’s remarks as “uncalled for”, Mr Dasmunshi said these had given a “new dimension” involving the judiciary too.

The leaders said a strong message should go to the people that the NDA stood for secularism.

Mr Indora said: “It is our moral responsibility” to reduce communal tension if it prevails.....We have seen what is happening in Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh where a mosque was reportedly destroyed yesterday.

However, the BJP allies said they were not against the government. “Our intention is not to topple the government, but to raise those issues which affect the people,” Ms Mamata Banerjee said.

Bedlam in Parliament over the Ayodhya issue continued for the fifth day today with the Opposition demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, forcing adjournment of both Houses till Monday.

While it took less than a minute for Rajya Sabha Chairman Krishna Kant to suspend proceedings for the day, Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi made a vain bid for a couple of minutes to restore order before adjourning the House without transaction of any business.

In a re-enactment of yesterday’s pandemonium, Opposition members stormed into the well of the Lok Sabha 10 minutes before it was to assemble, raising slogans.

Congress member Satyavrat Chaturvedi was seen waving a photograph of HRD Minister M.M. Joshi and Sports Minister Uma Bharati in a leading daily, showing them in a jubilant mood after the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya.

In the Rajya Sabha, finding the Opposition in no mood to allow the proceedings Mr Kant adjourned the House.

While Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi and CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee witnessed the pandemonium from their front row seats, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan were among those present at the treasury benches.

Meanwhile, sports and Youth Affairs Minister Uma Bharati today said the Ram Temple should be built at the ‘disputed site’ in Ayodhya and the entire issue could be sorted out through negotiations with the Muslim community.

Talking to mediapersons outside Parliament House, she said the issue of land ownership should be resolved through court.

Defending her presence in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, the day the Babri Masjid was demolished, the minister said she had gone there to prevent the demolition of the ‘disputed structure’.


VHP opposes Bangaru’s stand

JAIPUR, Dec 8 (UNI) — Vishwa Hindu Parishad Kendriya Margdarshak Acharya Dharmen-dra today rejected BJP chief Bangaru Laxman’s offer that if the Muslim community agreed to the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhaya, the VHP could be asked to drop Kashi and Mathura from its agenda.

Acharya Dharmendra asserted that the withdrawal of Kashi and Mathura issues was impossible.


Dharma Sansad’ to fix date on temple: VHP

AGARTALA, Dec 8 (PTI) — Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Vice-President Giriraj Kishore today said the Hindu “dharma sansad” would take a decision on the date of construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya at its two-day meeting at Prayag in Uttar Pradesh beginning January 18.

Mr Kishore told mediapersons the “dharmacharyas” would meet at Prayag during the Kumbha fair.

The VHP leader said in 1989 the Congress Government had given permission for laying the foundation stone of Ram Temple and once permission for laying the foundation stone was given, it implied that permission for construction of the temple would be granted.

The VHP leader demanded that Pakistan be declared a terrorist state and the Indian Government sever diplomatic relations with it because “it was indulging in terrorism in Kashmir.”

Mr Kishore expressed concern at the report of China despatching arms to the North-East through Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Blast demolished Babri Masjid’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Dec 8 (UNI) — in a major revelation, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) chief K.S. Sudarshan said tonight that the Babri Masjid was not demolished by “kar sevaks,” but was devastated by an explosion triggered from inside the masjid.

“Today I want to share a secret with you. The truth has started trickling in and the truth will come out fully very soon,” he said while addressing RSS workers at the Puthericandam maidan here. Mr Sudarshan said the “kitchen cabinet” of the then Congress (I) Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was aware of this explosion.

Addressing RSS workers here, he also came down heavily on Roman Catholics, saying that they did not recognise any belief other than their own and remained the only section opposed to the concept of National Church. Back

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