BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and other leaders from the party will be tried under conspiracy in the Ayodhya issue; the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. Senior Party leader Kalyan Singh will not face any legal proceedings as he is the Governor of Rajasthan now. Singh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Ram Mandir- Babri Masjid issue took place.

The case will be heard by a Lucknow court. Accepting the CBI’s plea, the apex court has set a two-year deadline for the enquiry to be conducted. A bench of Justice RF Nariman and Justice PC ghose ordered the day-to-day hearing of the case. The court restored the charges 16 years after they were dropped by a Lucknow court.

The Ayodhya site comprises of 2.7 acres and remains India’s most important ‘moment of truth.’ The BJP was the first party to raise the Ram Mandir issue, seeking support for the Ram temple to be rebuilt. Advani also led a Ram Rath Yatra in the year 1990.

The 89 year old BJP leader is credited with reviving the party is the 90s. Since the criminal charges have been restored against LK Advani, his presidential dreams have been squashed. The BJP veteran was the frontrunner to be the party’s presidential face. Now that the criminal charges have been restored, this can be seen as huge setback for the party patriarch.

Many media houses claimed that LK Advani had been side-lined. But, not many acknowledge that Advani in all probability would have been the official presidential nominee of the party. His long-time supporters wanted to see him as the Head of State. With the charges being revived, Advani’s dreams have been put to a halt. 2 years later he may be acquitted, but the ‘race’ to president won’t wait.


Tony Joseph