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The acquittal of all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, including a phalanx of top former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, on Wednesday was hailed as a victory for truth by senior leaders of the ruling party.

Soon after the verdict was announced by a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Lucknow, BJP leaders argued that the court had upheld the view that there was no conspiracy behind the 1992 demolition. BJP leaders have repeatedly denied any conspiracy and maintained that the destruction was the result of a spontaneous action by a section of people present at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

Among those acquitted on Wednesday were former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti.

“The judgement vindicates my personal and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s belief and commitment towards the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. I also feel blessed that this judgement has come in the footsteps of another landmark verdict of the Supreme Court given in November 2019, which paved the way for my long-cherished dream of seeing a grand Shri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, the foundation laying ceremony of which was held on 5th August, 2020," Advani said in a statement on Wednesday.

He thanked all the BJP leaders and religious figures who had helped him in the movement.

The verdict is important for the BJP and entire the generation of leaders who took part in the campaign to build a Ram temple in place of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

The BJP, a marginal force at the start of the movement with just two Lok Sabha members of Parliament (MPs), seized the opportunity and rode on the campaign to eventually seize power.

With the starting of construction of a temple, the party has managed to fulfil an electoral promise. “It’s a historic decision by the court. This proves that no conspiracy was hatched for the 6 December incident in Ayodhya. Our programme and rallies were not part of any conspiracy. We are happy, everyone should now be excited about Ram Mandir’s construction," said Joshi.

Taking a strong stand over the judgement, the Congress party said it runs counter to the Supreme Court judgement and constitutional spirit. “Every Indian, who has innate faith in the Constitution as also in the spirit of communal amity and brotherhood, expects and urges the Central and State governments to file an appeal against the decision of the Special Court, founded in error, and follow the letter of the law and the Constitution, without any partiality and pre-meditated prejudice," Congress chief spokesperson and general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.

Political analysts feel the judgement will helps advance the political agenda of the BJP, in power in both the Centre and UP.

“With a series of events in the recent past, a Hindutva common sense is evolving in the middle class. One may like it or dislike it but it cannot be ignored. Even in this case, as far as political implications are concerned, irrespective of whatever the outcome was acquittal or conviction—it would have benefitted the BJP," said Badri Narayan, an Allahabad-based political analyst and director at the Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute.

“BJP is in power and beginning with the laying of foundation stone of Ram temple and now this, it all falls in line with their agenda. Today some political parties may be a little vocal over the issue but I do not expect it to be a sustained effort through a campaign or a movement. We should remember that hardly any big Opposition party spoke against the laying of the foundation stone earlier this year," he added.

gyan.v@livemint.com

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