UP Congress to meet Friday to assess Ayodhya verdict impact

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New Delhi, Sept.30 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress party has said it will convene a meeting of its rank and file in Lucknow on Friday to discuss and assess the impact of the three-way verdict of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court with regard to the over 60-year-old Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.

A decision to this effect was taken here this evening after a Congress Core Group meeting that followed a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security at the 7, Race Course Road official residence of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Party sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that some members of the UP Congress unit have reacted with concern and wariness to the 2-1 verdict announced by the three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, and have requested for a meeting in the Uttar Pradesh capital to take stock. The sources further revealed that party activists and leaders in the state are concerned about the ruling Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gaining political mileage from the decision.

The sources also revealed that the general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Digvijay Singh, may go to Lucknow as an observer for the above mentioned meeting and report back to the Congress leadership at the centre. State unit leaders are also expected to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue.

The proposed meeting on Friday will take place a day after the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court dismissed the title suit of the Sunni Wakf board, saying there was no dispute on the fact that it was Lord Ram's birthplace.

It also said that the land under the Central Dome is the Ramjanmasthan and that it has historically belonged to both Hindus and Muslims.

The high court bench also said that the land in Ayodhya would now be divided into three parts. One third of the land will go to the Sunni Wakf board, one third to the Nirmohi Akhara and the third part to Ram Lalla.

Reactions to the decision were mixed.

Union Law Minister Verrappa Moily said he would react only after reading the entire judgment. The right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) welcomed the verdict saying that the judiciary has endorsed Hindu faith. The Rastriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) said the verdict should not be seen as either a win or a loss for anyone or for any community, and that the people should support the construction of a Ram temple.

Former BJP leader Uma Bharti termed the verdict as the happiest moment of her life, saying it has proved that Lord Ram was born at that particular site in the temple town.

The CPI (M) said the judgment required to be studied fully as there may be questions on the nature of the verdict and maintained that recourse to Supreme Court should be the only way to resolve the matter.

Sri Ram Janmbhoomi Trust chairman Nritya Gopal Das welcomed the verdict, but said the trust would challenge the decision to provide one third of the disputed land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board,The verdict shows that the Archaeological Survey of India's report on the site has been accepted ad verbatim. The ASI had said that the old structure was a massive Hindu religious structure. It also said that the disputed structure was built against Muslim tenets, and therefore could not be considered a mosque.

The title suit of the Nirmohi Akhada was also rejected, while the Sunni Wakf Board said that it was partly dejected by the verdict and would go to the Supreme Court.

The high court has given litigants in the case three months to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties. (ANI)

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