SC stay on Ayodhya verdict by a week evokes mixed reactions

SC directive to Allahabad High Court to defer the Ayodhya title suit verdict on Thursday evoked mixed reactions from political parties.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court directive to
Allahabad High Court to defer the Ayodhya title suit verdict
on Thursday evoked mixed reactions from political parties with
Congress welcoming it, BJP saying it will react after the
judgement is pronounced, while CPM and VHP expressing doubts
about possibilities of reconciliation.

"We will wait for the High Court verdict to come out and
then react to it," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The Supreme Court stayed for a week the verdict and
will hear the plea for deferment of the judgement on September
28.

The Court issued notices to the contesting parties
on the petition filed by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chand
Tripathi challenging the order of the Lucknow Bench of
Allahabad High Court order refusing to defer the verdict in
the 60-year-old Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit
dispute.

Congress, however, hailed the apex court`s order,
saying it always gave first priority to a solution arrived at
through mutual agreement.

"The Supreme Court has given the order with good
intentions and everybody should welcome it. Congress has
always believed that the first priority is that the issue is
resolved through mutual understanding, goodwill and
appreciating the feelings of one another.

"If it is not possible, the verdict of the court
should be acceptable to all. We believe the court has given
the order keeping this spirit in mind and everyone should
welcome this," party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said
in reply to questions on the SC order.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury appeared unhappy with the
delay in judgement, which was scheduled to be pronounced
tomorrow.
"Negotiations and reconciliation are always welcome but
the point is, in all these years this has not been achieved.
How can one expect to achieve this, that too within a week?"
Yechury told reporters.

"How much we may wish that it will happen and if really
it happens it is very good. But in that pretext, I do not
think we can go on and postpone an issue which can be
counter-productive. That we don`t want to happen. So we are
appealing that no one should get provoked. Whatever the
judicial verdict, in a secular democracy everyone should
accept it," he said.

However, right-wing VHP expressed disappointment over
the stay order on the judgement and ruled out conciliation as
a means to solve the dispute.

"Moves of conciliation are unacceptable to all the
parties involved...previous meetings to resolve the issue
through talks have remained futile. The option of talks is not
open so far," VHP President Ashok Singhal told reporters here.

Singhal said the delay in pronouncement of the verdict
on the 60-year-old case was akin to "making a mockery of the
feelings of the people".

He said a meeting of 45-member Sant Ucchadhikar Samiti
(saints` high-powered committee) will be held here tomorrow
and an agitational programme could be finalised against the
backdrop of the SC order. He did not specify further.
Questioning the reason behind staying the verdict of
the Special Bench, Singhal said "a non-entity" managed a stay
when the nine major parties in the title suit are against
conciliation...it is merely an effort to postpone things."

He claimed that "big powers" were behind Tripathi who
helped him get a stay.

Admitting that VHP had not anticipated the development,
Singhal, who was flanked by organisation`s general secretary
Pravin Togadia, said while Supreme Court had asked the High
Court to expedite the proceedings, it has itself gone back on
its directives by staying the verdict.

"Justice delayed is justice denied...the judges know
that," he said, expressing concerns about the fate of the
verdict as one of the judges in the Special Bench is to retire
on October 1.

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok
Chavan also welcomed the SC order. He said the development
would give much needed respite to the state police after the
arrangements in the just concluded Ganesh festival.

PTI

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