"The Centre should become a party to the suit or submit affidavit for out-of-court settlement"

While the Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the initiative of the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court here to inquire into the possibility of an amicable and mutual settlement to the Babri masjid title dispute, the party wants the Government of India to take the initiative for finding an amicable solution to the tangle, by becoming a party to the title suit.

The verdict is to be pronounced on September 24 and the BJP has said that it would honour the verdict.

Prior to that, the Special Bench will hold a sitting on September 17 to seek the possibility of an amicable solution.

Articulating his party's views, BJP's national vice-president Vinay Katiyar said here on Wednesday that the Centre should become a party to the suit or submit an affidavit for finding an out-of-court settlement and an amicable solution in the interest of communal harmony. “If the court wants, it can monitor the process.”

“The lead should be taken by the Prime Minister,” Mr. Katiyar told journalists at the party's State headquarters here. A permanent solution was possible through talks and the aggrieved party had the option of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court if the High Court's judgment was not in its favour. Talks between the representatives of contending parties had been initiated by the former Prime Minister, Chandra Shekhar, but the exercise came unstuck, he added.

Mr. Katiyar claimed that the former Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, had told him that a dialogue could pave the way for a temple, following which kar seva was to be performed at an undisputed site on December 6, 1992. The work had started, but again, no headway was made.

About the role of the former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, in solving the dispute, Mr. Katiyar said the date for the construction of the temple was fixed under the National Democratic Alliance regime, but the process fell through due to some reasons not spelt out by him.

He said that framing a law on the subject was not possible as the NDA government did not have absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.

On the BJP's temple agenda, Mr. Katiyar said it was the wish of crores of “Ram bhakts” that a Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya. Issues related to faith should not figure in law courts and there had been “cases earlier where the court has issued notice to the government and sought its opinion.”

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