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Unworthy tactics - The Observer

Editorial ()
June 9, 1998

Title: Unworthy tactics
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Observer
Date: June 9, 1998

Full five years have elapsed since the disputed structure in
Ayodhya was brought down. Apparently, the passage of time has
not reduced by one little whit . the divisive potential of the
issue. The barricades were raised again on Friday in, of all
places, Parliament. Media reports of prefabrication work of what
is believed to be a temple meant for erection at Ayodhya were
seized by the opposition parties to demand a response from the
BJP-led government. Which the latter did promptly. Union home
minister L K Advani assured Parliament on the same day that
'court orders in respect of the disputed site would be
scrupulously adhered to'.

Evidently, Mr Advani's statement of intent ,failed to satisfy the
opposition parties. Not because Mr Advani's statement fell short
of upholding the primacy of law. The statement could not be more
categorical in the government's intention to discharge its
'constitutional duties'. But because the opposition parties
wanted the core ruling party, BJP, to be false to its long-held
position. The BJP, along with the rest of the sangh parivar,
stands committed to building a magnificent temple at Ayodhya'.
The party has fought over three general elections with Ram mandir
as its mascot. If today, despite heading the coalition
government, the mandir issue has not figured in the National
Agenda for Governance, it. is because the BJP has not got the
popular mandate for the same. The party's frontline leaders have
said unambiguously that BJP is honour-bound to build the Ram
temple once It receives the people's mandate.

The opposition parties would, therefore, be deluding themselves
if they imagine that the forum of Parliament can be, profitably
used towards diluting the BJP's stand on Ayodhya. If it is a
ploy to drive a wedge between the BJP and its coalition allies,
it amounts to using Parliament for narrow partisan gains. No
issue of governance is involved herein. If the aim is to score
debating points, then the opposition parties would be well
advised not to waste time and energy of the apex democratic

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