Monday, June 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ayodhya ‘solution’ by July 6
Seer meets Jaswant, George

Kancheepuram, June 22
Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi said today that a solution to the vexed Ayodhya issue would be definitely found by July 6 when the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board meets to discuss and take a decision on his proposals.

Talking to the media after his 90-minute meeting with Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and Defence Minister George Fernandes here, he said the board had said it would meet on July 6 to discuss his proposals.

The Shankaracharya refused to disclose or even give a hint of the proposals he had made to the board to resolve the issue.

“I am sure a solution will be found by that date”, he said.

Mr Jaswant Singh and Mr Fernandes said their meeting with Shankaracharya was to fulfil an earlier commitment to participate at a function in the deemed university being run by the Kanchi mutt.

Both Union Ministers and the seer said the Ayodhya issue did not figure at all at the meeting.

Mr Jaswant Singh said the reports that they were paying a visit to the ‘mutt’ only to discuss the Ayodhya issue were “completely unfounded and misinformed”. Asked specifically whether the Ayodhya issue figured at the meeting, he said, “I am too small a man to discuss about such big subjects. I have not brought any message from the Centre nor am taking anything back to the Centre”.

On the temple issue, the minister said he would only say that it was his prayer that everybody would be happy if any solution was found to this issue.

He said a month ago, Jayendra Saraswathi had asked him to participate in the university function, but due to various circumstances he could not do so. Since Mr Fernandes was coming in ‘this direction’ he took this opportunity to meet swamji, he said.

Mr Fernandes said if any initiative from swamji came, it was “most welcome”. “The one coming from swamji is most welcome”, he said.

The Defence Minister, who is also the convener of the NDA, said there was “no problem in the NDA on the Ayodhya issue”.

Asked whether he was carrying any message to the Centre, he said, “I am only carrying a message of happiness”.

Mr Fernandes declined to reply to a question on the reported criticism of the VHP and the RSS on the seer’s role in the Ayodhya issue, saying that he was “not competent” to comment on it. Asked whether there was consensus in the NDA regarding the Ram temple issue, he maintained that there was no controversy on that issue.

Mr Jaswant Singh, who was accompanied by his wife, offered prayers at the Kamatchi Amman temple here.

Earlier, the two ministers arrived here from Chennai by a special IAF helicopter.

Asked about Puri Shankaracharya crticising his role on Ayodhya, the Kanchi seer quipped that the former had of late become a “Shankaracharya” (problem pontiff).

On why he was taking more interest than politicians in the matter, the seer said: “I want to get the problem solved at the earliest.” — PTI, UNI


Rein in VHP, BJP tells RSS
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 22
Though the Bharatiya Janata Party respects the sentiments of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad towards the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, it has conveyed to the RSS its resentment over the Sangh Parivar outfit’s tirade against the party and urged it to rein in the VHP.

According to sources, the recent utterings of the VHP’s international working president, Mr Ashok Singhal, has not found favour with the BJP leadership and so has been conveyed to the RSS. “Some of the BJP leaders say that such an outspoken stance of the VHP leaders on the sensitive and vexed Ayodhya issue may politically damage the party,” the sources said.

These BJP leaders say that, though the VHP has been “sincerely” involved in the temple movement for over 15 years now, it cannot be treated as the sole organisation representing the Hindu community and the government cannot be prevented from negotiating on the Ayodhya issue through other quarters.

The issue of VHP’s outburst had also figured at the recently concluded four-day ‘Chintan Bhaithak’ of the BJP in the suburbs of Mumbai, where some of the party strategists had expressed concern over the VHP’s tirade and wanted the top leadership to seek the RSS’ intervention.

They said the VHP was adopting a hardline stance and not giving a chance for the negotiations to take off. They also took a serious note of the VHP’s statements against Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati’s efforts on Ayodhya.

The observation of the BJP president, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, after the conclusion of the “Chintan Bhaithak, was: “The VHP thinks of the Hindus and we think of the nation.” This amply reflects the party’s anger against the VHP. Mr Naidu was also at pains to explain the compulsion of coalition politics, where the common agenda of the NDA and not that of the BJP could be implemented.

The BJP president had also said that, since the temple issue could not be resolved in the present context by any means other than a court verdict or mutual consent, the BJP had “no problem in talking with anyone or anyone talking with anyone else”.

In line with the BJP’s stand, the Minister of State for Home, Swami Chinmayanand, himself is a strong votary of Ram temple, had termed the VHP leaders’ outburst as “unwarranted”.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |