Days before the prohibited 84 Kosi Parikrama in Ayodhya, former CMs of Madhya Pradesh -- Uma Bharti and her predecessor Digvijaya Singh-- went public with proposed out-of-court settlements to the Ayodhya dispute.

Ms. Bharti said she preferred an out-of-court settlement to the Ayodhya dispute although she would not hesitate to participate in any VHP movement if invited.

“If the VHP or even I intervene, whatever we say will not be accepted by Muslims. It is better if (U.P. CM) Mulayam ji, (PM) Manmohan ji, (B.J.P MP) Advani ji get together with the parties and find a solution in the interest of the nation... Even Digvijaya ji, whose family has been worshipping Ram for generations, can help,” she opined. She added that Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Congress were known for “fixing matches” and that the CBI “is the bookie.”

Mr. Singh also tweeted on Thursday saying: “84 Kosi Parikrama in Chaitra in Ayodhya is an age old parampara. Now VHP wants to start a Parikrama for Ram Mandir for political ends. When the Supreme Court has asked to maintain status quo in the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue ,why is VHP and BJP communalising to disturb peace in U.P?”

In an exclusive interview with The Hindu, Mr. Singh explained that traditionally the 84 Kosi Parikrama is held in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March/ April) and not in Bhadra (which begins on August 23). “An out-of-court settlement by the original petitioners, and not any political party or the VHP is welcome. Let the Hindus and Muslims of Ayodhya decide. Former PM Narasimha Rao had involved all the Shankracharyas and created the Ramalaya Trust, which kept the VHP out. A settlement by Ramalaya and the Muslims should be acceptable,” said the Congress leader.

The 84 Kosi Parikrama, which the VHP is keen to proceed with on August 25, 2013 in violation of prohibitory orders, will cover 135 km around Ayodhya. Following the 14 Kosi Parikrama in 1990, violence erupted in which 15 kar sevaks were killed in police firing on October 30. This led to the defeat of Mulayam Singh at the hands of the B.J.P in Uttar Pradesh in 1991.