Within hours of the Supreme Court restoring charges of criminal conspiracy against her in the Babri Masjid demolition case, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti Wednesday raised the political pitch, saying she never had any regrets about her role in bringing down the disputed Ayodhya structure in December 1992.
Bharti sai she had always been “proud” of her participation in the Ram temple movement. “I have always remained unapologetic and unrepentant about my involvement in the Ayodhya movement… Na maine kabhi khed vyakt kiya hai, na maine kabhi maafi mangi hai (Neither have I expressed any regret, nor have I ever apologised),” she said.
The Minister claimed there was no conspiracy behind the events of December 6, 1992 as “everything was out in the open”.
“Conspiracy would have been if we were trying to hide something. Here, everything was very clear. It was clear not just in my thoughts, but also in my utterances and actions… The question conspiracy, therefore, does not even arise,” she said.
Bharti also announced her intention to travel to Ayodhya by Wednesday evening — “to pray at the Ram temple” and “spend the (Thursday) evening on the banks of Saryu (river)” — but that plan was abruptly called off in the evening.
Amidst the possibility that she might have to step down from the minister’s post, Bharti said she was ready to take “any punishment” for the Ram temple.
“Ayodhya ke liye, Ganga ke liye, aur Tirange ke liye main koi bhi saza bhugatne ko taiyyar hoon (I am ready for any punishment for the sake of the construction of Ram temple, Ganga and the Tricolour). I had left the post of Chief Minister (of Madhya Pradesh) for the national flag. For Ram, Ganga or Tiranga, I can leave Lord Indra’s seat. Minister’s chair is a very small thing,” she said.
Bharti was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh between December 2003 and August 2004. She had to resign after arrest warrants were issued against her by Karnataka Police for leading an agitation in Hubli ten years earlier. Bharti and her associates had attempted to hoist the national flag at the Idgah Maidan in Hubli, which was a disputed property, violating prohibitory orders. The agitation had sparked riots.
Bharti said she respected the judiciary like she respected God. “I would be ready to go to jail within two hours if the court asks me to. I have no problems. I only want to see the Ram temple being constructed in Ayodhya. I want to see a clean Ganga, and I want to see the Tricolour flying in Kashmir. I do not have any other wish,” she said.