Union minister and BJP leader Uma Bharti has dismissed Congress’ demand for her resignation after the Supreme Court ordered that she be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
There was “no conspiracy and everything was in open” in the matter, Bharti told reporters after the apex court verdict.
Bharti said she was “proud, unapologetic and unrepentant” for being associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and was prepared to get “hanged or be jailed” on the issue of construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
“There was no conspiracy, everything was in the open…I was associated with the Ram temple movement with full confidence and pride…The court has said that we be tried for conspiracy. There was no conspiracy…Yes, I was present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 (when the disputed structure was demolished). Where does one see any conspiracy?” Bharti said.
“I am ready to face whatever punishment it takes for construction of a temple at Ayodhya or be it on issue of cleaning of the Ganga, the tricolour or the cow. I have never repented or apologised,” she added.
“I gave up the chief minister’s post after a court convicted me. In this (Ayodhya) case, the trial is yet to begin. The charges are yet to be proved,” Bharti added.
She also hit out at the Congress for seeking her resignation.
“When thousands of Sikhs died in the riots, Sonia Gandhi was at the house of her husband. Rajiv was trying to justify the massacre…So, can we say she was part of a conspiracy? The Congress has no moral right to seek my resignation,” Bharti lashed out while referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh.
Finance and Defence minister Arun Jaitley ruled out Bharti’s resignation over the matter.
“There have been ministers, there have been deputy prime ministers… If charge sheet is the rule (to resign), then just calculate, how many Congress chief ministers will (have to go),” Jaitley quipped on being asked about Bharti’s resignation.
On the other hand, Congress welcomed the apex court’s verdict.
“The Supreme Court has spoken. Let justice be done and the guilty punished,” Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
Top BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case with the Supreme Court allowing the CBI plea to restore the charge against them.
The court also clubbed the trial in the matter pending against the leaders and ‘karsevaks’ and ordered day-to-day trial in Lucknow with the proceedings to be completed in two years.
(With inputs from PTI)