A slight but significant shift in the stance of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) towards the impending Ayodhya verdict was noticeable on Friday, with both the organisations welcoming the decision of the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Lucknow to deliver the verdict on September 24 itself.

Till Thursday, the sangh parivar organisations were emphasising on a resolution of the dispute through legislation by Parliament. VHP's Ashok Singhal had said a court decision cannot resolve the dispute.

RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav pointed out that the court can at most deliver a verdict on the title deed of the disputed site (where the Babri mosque was razed to the ground on December 6, 1992 and where the idol of Ram is kept in a makeshift temple). However, for building a Ram temple “much more land” would be needed (and in that the Centre had a role to play).

After the Babri Masjid demolition, the Narasimha Rao government acquired large plots of land around the disputed structure through The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Ordinance, 1993. The land in the possession of the Centre practically encircles the disputed plot and all parties to the dispute are aware that some sort of Central government intervention would be needed to re-develop the disputed land whether as a mosque, a temple or in any other way.

On Friday, after news reports came in that the Special Bench dismissed a petition seeking deferment of the verdict, senior VHP leader Giriraj Kishore said he “welcomed” the court decision of not to delay the verdict.

Similar sentiment was expressed by Mr. Madhav. He described the court decision as “right” and criticised petitioner Ramesh Chandra Tripathi for trying to delay the verdict.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently clarified he did not want the issue to be politicised.

The sangh parivar is aware that if the issue is politicised once again, as it was during the late Eighties and early Nineties, no resolution was possible, as the Union government would have to play a role in allotting the land around the disputed structure.

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