Wednesday, June 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

VHP asks seer to withdraw assurance
Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute
Tribune News Service and agencies

New Delhi, June 25
The VHP today denied its controversial statement that it would not accept the court verdict on the Ayodhya issue.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati here, VHP working President Ashok Singhal said: “None of the VHP leaders said we will not accept the court verdict.”

During the VHP’s Hardwar conclave, he said, it was stated that the Ayodhya issue was a matter of faith and therefore it was beyond the jurisdiction of a court.

However, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Chairman Mahant Parmahans Ramchandra Dass had remarked that the court verdict would not be acceptable if it went against religious scripture, Mr Singhal added.

Mr Singhal called on the seer to request him to withdraw the written assurance of the nyas given to the Centre that it would await the court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute.

Asked whether there was still some scope for a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya issue, Mr Singhal said the VHP had got no assurance from Muslim representatives in this regard.

Meanwhile, several senior ruling alliance leaders and Union Ministers visited the temple to meet the Shankaracharya, who arrived here yesterday amid speculations of another round of efforts on his part to resolve the Ayodhya issue.

Among those who met the seer were Defence Minister and NDA convener George Fernandes, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Vijay Goel, BJP President K Jana Krishnamurthy, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar, Rural Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and UP BJP leader Kalraj Mishra.

The VHP leader informed the Shankaracharya that the group had undertaken in March this year to await the court verdict as the Centre had promised to lift all restrictions in Ayodhya, allow the March 15 shiladaan without any obstruction and hand over the undisputed land in Ayodhya to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas for starting construction of the Ram temple.

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