Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar paid Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a “courtesy visit” on Wednesday in Lucknow, a day before a meeting with Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas chairman Nritya Gopal Das in Ayodhya. Shankar had earlier offered to mediate between the disputing parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
Chief Minister Adityanath, welcoming the talks, told reporters, “Sarkar isme koi party nahi hai isliye maine pehle hi is baarey me dono pakshon se kaha hai ki dono paksh baatcheet se agar kisi nishkarsh par pahunchte hain to sarkar usme bharpoor sahyog karne ko taiyar hai…lekin agar kisi nishkarsh par nahi pahunchte…dono samwad nahi kar sakte …baatcheet nahi kar sakte …toh nyayalay me mamla hai…nyayalay se jo nirnay aayega hum uska palan karenge (Since the government isn’t party to the case, I had already told the stakeholders that if they can come to a final decision on the matter through dialogue, then the government is committed to fully back it. But if they can’t come to such a decision… if they can’t talk it out… then it is in the court… and we will obey whatever is the court’s decision).”
Shankar said there had been no discussions on the Ram Temple issue. After the meeting, the AoL founder met RSS’s Mahirajdwaj Singh, Mahant Suresh Das of Ayodhya’s Digamabar Akhara, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar and representatives of a few Muslim organisations, at the residence of Amarnath Mishra, one of Shankar’s followers in Lucknow.
Katiyar told The Indian Express that he said at the meeting he was not in favour of dividing the disputed land. He said any talks without the Sunni Waqf Board, another party in the case, would not be fruitful.
“One section (Sunni Waqf Board) is not taking part in the discussions. They (who are coming forward for mediation) claim they will talk to all stakeholders. It is meaningless to discuss without participation of all those who are concerned,” said Mahirajdwaj Singh, who is also national co-convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch. He said the “mediators” must also talk to the VHP.