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Verdict came as a relief: Advani

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September 19, 2003 19:27 IST

Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Friday described as "mixed" his feelings on the verdict of the Rae Bareli court, exonerating him in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

"It certainly gives me relief. It would have been a feeling of elation if all my colleagues had also been exonerated, which has not happened," Advani said at his New Delhi residence while reacting to the court's decision to frame charges against the remaining accused, including Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi.

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He said there was nothing before him on the basis of which he could analyse why this had happened. "Earlier, there was a case of conspiracy in which some distinction could have been made between A or B (accused). But now the charges are of making incendiary speeches (and) provoking the demolition," he said.

He said he had asked Joshi, who had quit after hearing the verdict, to take back his resignation.

"Now the lawyers will definitely study the order and advise us on the future course of action."

Advani accused the opposition of making "a systematic attempt to malign me over the Ayodhya movement... they termed the movement as communal".

He said: "The Ayodhya movement got the people's support because we were able to convey to the masses in the country that India is a secular state and treats all its citizens, irrespective of their faiths, as equals.

"But for the sake of sheer vote-bank politics, secularism was being projected in a very perverse manner.

"To the best of my knowledge no speeches were made (at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, when the mosque was demolished), neither by me nor Joshi nor anyone else.

"The people participated in the Ram temple movement as they felt that the temple should be built at the place that is believed to be the birthplace of Ram.

"That enabled BJP to become the largest party because they (the people) accepted the logic of our own definition of secularism and reacted strongly to the Congress brand of pseudo-secularism."

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