The veteran BJP leader and the former Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, wished the Supreme Court vacated the interim stay and allowed the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to deliver its judgment on the Ayodhya land dispute before the end of this month.
Speaking to journalists after offering puja at the famous Somnath temple in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat on Saturday, Mr. Advani said he was “surprised” at the Supreme Court's order on the issue earlier this week staying the delivery of the High Court judgment due on September 24 when the country was “emotionally prepared to receive the judgment and a conducive atmosphere was created for it.”
“I do not understand the SC judgment,” he said. When none of the litigant parties wanted a further deferment, and the people in the country were anxiously awaiting the judgment for the last 50 years or so, still the apex court further delayed it. “I have high regards for the judicial system of the country and respect for the Supreme Court, but I do not understand this judgment,” he said.
“I respect the judicial system of the country. But when the masses are waiting for the judgment on Ayodhya, when the litigants involved in the case wanted a verdict, and when even the Allahabad High Court rejected the petition to defer the verdict, this decision has come from the Supreme Court.” The interim stay was given even when the two judges on the Bench differed on the issue, Mr. Advani said with a sense of surprise.
He said he would request the apex court not to further postpone the issue and give the deferment petition a final hearing on September 28 and allow the High Court to deliver the verdict on September 29 or 30, apparently indicating the retirement of one of the judges on the Bench due on October 1 which would further delay the judgement.
He said he would advise his partymen and all sections of the people to receive the judgment in the right spirit and calmly showing due respect to the courts. He said he did not “implicate” the Congress in the Ayodhya issue but said he would expect every party and every community to respect the desire of the masses to see a “befitting” temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. “I will wish all sections of the population to contribute in the construction of the Ram temple,” he said. Mr. Advani said he was very clear in his mind that the Ram temple should be constructed at Ayodhya.
Mr. Advani was on his annual trip to Somnath. He visits Somnath every year on September 25 to commemorate the “Ram rathyatra” he launched this day in 1990 from Somnath to Ayodhya that changed the political course of the country and the future of the BJP.
Mr. Advani this year was also accompanied by the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and a BJP rebel, Uma Bharti. He evaded a question whether Ms. Bharti's accompanying him indicated her return to the BJP fold, but said this year she expressed her desire to visit Somnath and “I told her to come with me.”