Fresh calls were made on Friday for another attempt for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya issue, as Governments at the Centre as well as political parties hailed the “respectful and dignified” response of people to the court verdict.
The Centre as well as the Congress also made it a point to stress that the Thursday’s Allahabad High Court judgement in no way justified the “criminal act” of demolition of Babri Masjid that took place on December 6, 1992.
With no untoward incident being reported from any part of the country a day after the Allahabad High Court verdict, political parties played the peace card and renewed appeals for maintaining communal harmony.
Congress favoured a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya issue, while the BJP said this possibility could be explored to settle the issue amicably instead of dragging the sensitive matter further.
“Not only government, but all right thinking people should work for a negotiated settlement. From our side, we will try for a settlement. The issue should be resolved,” said AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh. If this is not possible, then the court verdict should be honoured, he added.
When asked whether the party was in favour of out-of-court settlement, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said “If there is a possibility, the issue should be settled amicably instead of dragging it further.”
Mr. Naidu also asserted that the judgement “vindicated the party’s stand that Ayodhya was birthplace of Lord Rama.”
Mr. Chidambaram said the Centre has no role in the issue except to maintain status quo and ensure law and order across the country.
Playing the minorities’ card, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said the Muslim community felt “cheated” by the Ayodhya title suit verdict, prompting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to warn of strict action against any attempt to vitiate the communal atmosphere.
“I am disappointed at the judicial verdicts that give precedence to faith over law and evidence. This does not augur good for the country, the Constitution and the Judiciary itself,” Mr. Yadav said reading out from a written statement.
Echoing Mr. Yadav, LJP president Ramvilas Paswan said the verdict had brought disappointment among the minority community but they should not take it as a final one.
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa described the verdict as “admirable” and urged the parties concerned to “fully appreciate the judgement.”
“I feel that the learned judges have delivered an admirable verdict. It is a judgement that opens the door to the path of reconciliation,” she said in a statement.
CPI said there are enough legal avenues for the people who feel aggrieved at the verdict.
It said the verdict based more on faith and religious belief than the basic tenets of history, archaeology, legal logic and historical facts of other streams of scientific knowledge can spark a debate on the jurisdiction of the courts.
The Forward Bloc while appealing for calm said the Ayodhya issue should be settled before the judicial courts and not at the streets.