On the eve of the Ayodhya verdict, BJP’s rathyatri for Ram Temple at Ayodhya L K Advani had a busy day. Friday being the former deputy prime minister’s birthday, there was a steady stream of visitors and phone calls for him through the day.
While Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Advani to wish him as he turned 92, President Ram Nath Kovind and former president Pranab Mukherjee were learnt to have wished him over phone.
Other prominent leaders who visited the nonagenarian leader included BJP president Amit Shah, working president J P Nadda, general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. From the Sangh Parivar, joint general secretary Krishna Gopal and RSS leader Ramlal visited Advani while RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi was learnt to have wished him over phone.
The Congress has protested, rather forcefully, the central government’s decision to withdraw the SPG cover to Gandhi family members Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka. The party is also considering mounting a legal challenge apart from the political attack.
Those in the know said that challenging the decision in a court of law cannot be ruled out, and the party is looking at the pros and cons. It is too early but the possibility cannot be ruled out, a senior leader said. To put up a legal challenge, they would have to dissect the decision in an unemotional and merit-based manner, the leader said.
The Right Blend
The project to make a university building for the country’s first rail university, called National Rail and Transportation Institute, in Vadodara is going on in full swing.
Last heard, Railways was likely to bring in architect Hafeez Contractor for the design. The building will be established in the campus of the National Academy of Indian Railways, and care is apparently being taken so that it represents modernity while blending in the heritage of Pratap Vilas Palace, where the academy is situated.