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Tuesday, August 28, 2001

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Details of Ayodhya talks will be tabled in LS: PM

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, AUG. 27. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, told the Lok Sabha today that his Government was in touch with several organisations and people in its bid to find a solution to the contentious Ayodhya issue. He, however, declined to reveal the names of the people involved in the negotiations, but promised to place on the floor of the House all the details pertaining to the people he was in touch with.

Mr. Vajpayee, who made an unscheduled appearance in the Lok Sabha, spoke at the end of a heated impromptu discussion on the issue, with angry Opposition members charging him with trying to gain political mileage keeping in mind the coming Uttar Pradesh elections.

Mr. Vajpayee clarified that when asked for his response to the VHP's deadline of March 2002 for beginning the temple construction, he told the questioner that he wanted the issue resolved before March itself and talks were on in this regard.

The issue was raised during zero hour by Mr. Jaipal Reddy (Cong.) and later supported by Mr. Somnath Chatterjee (CPI-M), Mr. Ramji Lal Suman (SP) and Mr. Rashid Alvi (BSP). Mr. Reddy charged Mr. Vajpayee with making a ``false and untrue statement'', as all the Muslim organisations and committees associated with the Babri Masjid issue had denounced the Prime Minister's claims.

Mr. Reddy took exception to the Prime Minister making a statement on a sensitive matter outside the House when Parliament was in session. Mr. Chatterjee regretted that Mr. Vajpayee had developed a tendency to periodically issue statements on the issue.

The issue later threatened to degenerate into an U.P. affair with the SP and the BJP blaming each other for playing communal politics. Mr. Ramji Lal Suman (SP) said the statement was made with a view to vitiating the atmosphere by communalising the issue to bail out the BJP in the State.

He was countered by Mr. Vinay Katiyar (BJP) who charged that the SP was communalising the issue by raising it.

* * *

'Temple will be built, come what may'

BHUBANESWAR, AUG. 27. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today said the Ram temple would be built at the disputed site in Ayodhya irrespective of the Centre's support or opposition to it.

``The temple construction will start anytime after the March 12 deadline, no matter whether the Central Government agreed to the proposal, remained indifferent or opposed the initiative,'' the VHP international vice-president, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, told presspersons here.

Referring to the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee's statement in Lucknow yesterday that negotiations were on to resolve the Ayodhya tangle before the March 12 deadline, he said, ``I wish him good luck.''


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