Wednesday, April 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sena for Ayodhya on NDA agenda

Shirdi (Maharashtra), April 9
Hindutva-proponent and a key BJP ally, Shiv Sena today asked the NDA government at the Centre to take up the Ayodhya issue on its agenda, an issue kept on the back burner since 1998 elections.

“The feelings of majority Hindus need to be honoured in this country and the NDA should take on its agenda the Ram temple issue,” Sena MP Sanjay Nirupam said as the two-day party conclave got underway here.

However, the party is opposing the proposed labour reforms of the Centre, he said.

The vexed issue which has remained unresolved for over five decades needs to be sorted out and the Centre should take an initiative in this regard, Mr Nirupam said.

The Ram temple is a matter of heart and faith and should not be allowed to linger on in the court of law in the name of secularism, the Sena leader said.

Mr Nirupam would be outlining the party’s strategy in this regard tomorrow while moving a resolution.

To clear the obstacles in the way of constructing a Ram temple at Ayodya all countrymen must make concerted efforts, Mr Nirupam said even as he appealed to the Muslim brethren to shed their opposition to the issue so as to honour the feelings of the majority community.

The issue of rebellion, a recent phenomenon for the Shiv Sena, figured prominently on the opening day of the conclave.

“There is nothing wrong in having political ambitions but it should be kept in mind that the Sena organisation should not be affected while nurturing one’s aims,” senior party leader Subhash Desai said.

The views expressed by Mr Desai, a close confidant of Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, assume significance in the wake of widespread rebellion in the party rank and file on the eve of recently concluded civic polls in Maharashtra.

“We speak to the rebels by taking cognisance of their views. We try to pacify them and most of them relent and those continuing with their rebellion are expelled”, Mr Desai said.

Union Ministers Manohar Joshi, Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Suresh Prabhu, Sena leaders Raj and Uddhav Thackeray, leader of the Opposition in state Assembly Narayan Rane and Sena MPs and MLAs took part in the two-day meeting, being held under a very tight security arrangement. PTIBack

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