Top BJP leaders meet, discuss SC verdict
Top BJP leaders on Wednesday discussed the political and legal fallout of the Supreme Court verdict on the Babri mosque demolition that has come as a setback to the party's sidelined veterans including L K Advani.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, union ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and M Venkaiah Naidu were huddled for two hours at Modi's residence but a senior party leader played down the meeting's significance, saying it had a number of issues, including the Kashmir crisis, on its agenda.
The meeting was held against the backdrop of the apex court verdict allowing the CBI to put Advani, 89 , Murli Manohar Joshi, 83 , and Uma Bharti, 57 , on trial after restoring the criminal conspiracy charges against them.
A senior leader insisted that it was a pre-scheduled meeting.
It is understood that the apex court verdict and its implications –political as well as legal –were also discussed with the leadership exploring various options to deal with it.
Some BJP leaders said the party would not like the message to go out that the "heroes" of its most resonant Hindutva movement, spearheaded by Advani in early 90s, were tried for criminal conspiracy when it was in power at the Centre as well in Uttar Pradesh.
For the record, senior leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party will study in detail the court verdict before offering comments. Prasad asserted that BJP highly respects its leaders like Advani and Joshi.
The party has held the position that the demolition of mosque was not planned but a spontaneous act of agitating 'kar sevaks' and there was no conspiracy behind its razing on December 6, 1992 at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The uneasy relationship that Modi and Shah share with Advani and Joshi also does not help the party.