Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Wednesday said he was not surprised at the stand taken by the Congress leaders on the bhoomi pujan for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Khan, a former Congress leader, said then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had informed the Muslim Personal Law Board before removing the locks of Babri Masjid in 1986.
Removal of the locks in Ayodhya was part of a deal which the then government entered into with the Muslim Personal Law Board, Khan said in an interview to News18.com.
“In the second week of January 1986, the then Prime Minister announced the decision to accept the demand of the MPLB to reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case and the blowback was so severe that the government felt the need to do some balancing act and the unlocking was done on February 1, 1986,” he told the news portal.
The governor recalled that he had written in his book Text and Context about his meeting with Rajiv Gandhi. Khan said when he met Rajiv Gandhi in February 1986, the prime minister told him that he had informed the MPLB leaders before removing the lock and therefore he did not apprehend any protest by them.
Khan’s comment came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi pujan of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya, bringing to fruition the BJP’s ‘mandir’ movement that defined its politics for three decades and took it to the heights of power.
The ceremony was made possible by a Supreme Court verdict last year allowing the construction of the temple at the site where ‘kar sevaks’ demolished a mosque in 1992.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the event at the site where a large number of devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.