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India Latest: Ahead of Ayodhya verdict, Congress meet on Sunday to seal its strategy

India Latest News Desk (ZeeNews24.com) :

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to meet on Sunday to formulate the party’s stand on the contentious Ayodhya issue ahead of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

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A Congress functionary said the party’s highest decision-making body would firm up its strategy and also articulate its stand on the decades-old dispute to ensure that its leaders speak in one voice post verdict.

A large section of Hindus believe the 16th century mosque, Babri Masjid, was built during the rule of Mughal Emperor Babur on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Ram, a site they claim marks the birthplace of the warrior-god. On December 6, 1992, Hindu activists campaigning for the construction of a Ram temple on the site, demolished the mosque that triggered a cycle of violence and riots across the country.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer wrapped up a marathon, sometimes acrimonious 40-day hearing on the title suit on October 16, paving the way for a judicial settlement of the decades-old dispute over 2.77 acres of land in the ancient city of Ayodhya.

The top court has reserved its verdict, which is expected to be delivered before Gogoi retires as the CJI on November 17.

So far, the grand old party has officially maintained that it will abide by the top court’s verdict, which should be “accepted and respected by everyone” and that the “government must implement” the judgment.

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But there have been demands within the Congress that the party should not be seen as wavering in its stand on the Ayodhya issue once the verdict is delivered and while doing so, it must keep in mind the sentiments of tens and thousands of people.

The frequent temple visits by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi during elections prompted his political rivals to charge him with playing a “soft Hindutva” card and an attempt to change the party’s perceived pro-minority image that is believed to be one of the contributing factors for its decimation in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul Gandhi had also visited Ayodhya in September 2016, becoming the first member of the Gandhi family to visit the holy city since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. Former Prime Minister and Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi had visited Ayodhya in 1990.

It was the Rajiv Gandhi government that allowed the ‘shilanyas’ or a ground-breaking ceremony on an undisputed site close to the structure and also opened the doors of the Ram temple in 1986.

The image makeover exercise by the Congress was also in line with the findings of a four-member panel, headed by former defence minister and party veteran AK Antony, tasked to look into the reasons for the 2014 debacle.

In its report, the panel concluded that fighting polls on secularism versus communalism plank had hurt the Congress as it was perceived as a pro-minority party which resulted in substantial gains for the BJP.

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First Publish Date: 2019-11-07 11:54:44
Author: , (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by ZeeNews24 staff and is published from source)

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