Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday said he stood vindicated and felt “deeply blessed” after a Supreme Court verdict paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, PTI reported.

Earlier on Saturday, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be given to a trust, which could then begin the construction of a Ram temple. The court ordered the government to form the trust within three months. It also said that a mosque will be built at an alternative site in Ayodhya, on five acres of land.

“I join all my countrymen in wholeheartedly welcoming the historic judgement delivered by the five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today in the Ayodhya matter,” Advani told reporters. “I stand vindicated, and feel deeply blessed, that the Supreme Court has given its unanimous verdict paving the way for the construction of a magnificent temple for Lord Ram at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.”

Advani, 92, described the judgement as a “moment of fulfilment” for him, “because God Almighty had given me an opportunity to make my own humble contribution to the mass movement”. He also claimed that the movement for the Ram temple had been the biggest mass agitation since India’s freedom struggle.

Advani said that now that the judgement has been delivered, the time has come to leave all acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace.

Meanwhile, firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharti hailed Advani’s contribution to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, calling it the root of the party’s success, PTI reported. “A tribute to all those who laid down their lives for this work and a tribute to Advani ji, under whose leadership all of us put our best at stake for this great work,” Bharti said. She also asserted that the BJP-led government will now come to power for the third time in 2024.

Another senior BJP leader and a figure in the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation, Murli Manohar Joshi, called the Supreme Court judgement “historic”. However, Joshi added that the trust that will be set up for the construction of the shrine will have to be considerate towards keeping people united. He also appealed to all sections to accept the judgement.

Advani, Bharti and Joshi are all facing charges of criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

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