Maharashtra leaders welcome Ayodhya verdict



Leaders from different political parties in Maharashtra hailed the Supreme Court judgement in the Ayodhya dispute, here on Saturday.

Welcoming the apex court's verdict, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that "the verdict strengthens democracy in India".

"This should not be viewed as a victory or defeat for anyone. The verdict strengthens democracy in the country. The apex court's ruling has been peacefully accepted by the masses in Mumbai and Maharashtra. We wholeheartedly welcome the verdict," Fadnavis said.

He urged the people of the state to respect the verdict, maintain their traditions of peace and restrain and not to hurt the sentiments of people of any community in any manner.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, endorsing the verdict, expressed optimism that all political parties and religious organisations would also respect the judgement.

NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik, terming the verdict as "historic" said now the curtains will fall on the age-old dispute of Ayodhya.

"It has been our consistent stand that whatever be the verdict, all parties and religious groups must respect it. There should not be any victory celebrations which can hurt the sentiments of other communities. We hope that henceforth, religion will not be exploited for political gains in the future," Malik said.

Welcoming the verdict, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray called it a "momentous day" and the sacrifices of the "kar-sevak" has finally paid off.

"My thoughts are with Balasaheb Thackeray as he would have been so happy to witness this historic day. We look forward to the expediting of the construction of the Ram temple and hope to see the heralding of 'Ram Rajya' in the true sense," Raj Thackeray said.

Though the Maharashtra Congress has not yet officially reacted to the verdict, state spokesperson and General Secretary Sachin Sawant urged the "caretaker CM Devendra Fadnavis to take care" by not flouting police orders and proceeding to perform 'puja' at a Ram Temple in Mumbai this afternoon.

Reacting to the verdict, AICC Secretary from Maharashtra Sanjay Dutt said: "Let us all respect the verdict and maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood. The time has come to once again to show the world that India is one and that 'Unity in Diversity' continues to be our strength."

Maharashtra Samajwadi Party President Abu Asim Azmi urged the people to maintain peace and harmony and said the Muslims have full faith in the Muslim Personal Law Board's guidance in the matter.

NGO Bharat Bachao Andolan (BBA) President Feroze Mithiborwala said the top court has allotted land both for a Ram temple and a mosque in the holy city of Ayodhya.

"A major chapter in Indian history has been closed and has the potential to promote communal harmony. Both Hindus and Muslims should move ahead, engage in a concerted dialogue to promote friendship and amity for the larger good of the country," Mithiborwala said.IANS