Babri Masjid Action Committee convener Syed Sahabuddin on Sunday joined the Congress and promised to campaign extensively throughout the country for the party..
Sahabuddin, a three-time member of Parliament, met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the morning and expressed his desire to join the party, party spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters at the AICC headquarters in Delhi in the presence of Sahabuddin.
He decided to 'join the largest secular party to defeat the politics of deception' not to contest the coming polls.
The former Indian Foreign Service officer joined the Congress to 'heal the wounds of the nation, to reconstruct India on the Nehruvian model and place India's foreign policy on the lines of the non-aligned'.
Pointing out that in the present political scenario, no citizen can remain isolated, Shahabuddin, who resigned from the IFS in the late 70s, said his decision was in keeping with the larger interests of the country.
The fiery debater and a front-ranking leader of the Ayodhya movement, Shahabuddin said he had been in touch with the Congress leadership informally for the last five years and exchanged views on various issues.
After his resignation from the IFS, Shahabuddin joined the Janata Party and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1979. He represented Kishenganj Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar between 1985-89 and again in 1991-96.
He dismissed suggestions that Muslims were treated as a 'vote bank', saying they have been voting for different parties according to their political judgement.
To a query on the alleged role of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao in the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Shahabuddin said, "I am looking at the future. Both sides (Hindus and Muslims) must wait for the Supreme Court's order in this regard."