25 January, 2021

The Big Fish Escapes

A great political churning awaits the BJP as Joshi quits in the wake of the Ayodhya ruling that lets off Advani Updates

The Big Fish Escapes
Lal Krishna Advani reportedly heaved a sigh of relief. His supporters distributed sweets and exchanged congratulatory SMS messages. The man who had led the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, which culminated in one of the most spectacular acts of vandalism in contemporary Indian history, was let off the legal hook by Rae Bareli special court judge V.K. Singh.

But it was a pyrrhic victory. Eleven years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, after several legal twists and turns, the judge ordered the framing of criminal charges—which included sections like inciting violence, spreading enmity between communities and unlawful assembly—against a galaxy of leaders from the BJP and the VHP. Among them were Union human resource development minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and the party’s Madhya Pradesh chief ministerial candidate Uma Bharati. The VHP leaders in the legal loop are Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Rithambara.

Joshi tendered in his resignation less than an hour after the ruling was announced though Union law minister Arun...



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