After criminal conspiracy charges were levelled against her, Union Minister Uma Bharti on Thursday refused to resign and declared that she was a proud participant in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
"I am proud to have been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. For me, Ayodhya is not just about politics, but a matter of belief for me. Due to the media, I thought my going there would become a political event and not a personal one," Uma Bharti said.
Slamming the Opposition, the Union Minister also asserted the Congress had no right to demand her resignation.
"The party that caused the Emergency and the 1984 riots has no right to demand my resignation. A conspiracy would imply that something was done in secret, but whatever happened was in full public view," said Bharti.
Further, Bharti added that she has no regrets over her involvement in the case.
"I am ready for all kinds of questions at the shortest notice. I have no regrets over my involvement. The temple would definitely be built," she added.
Meanwhile, the Congress demanded Bharti's resignation by reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act in accordance with 'his love for transparency and morality in politics'.
Earlier in the day, the apex court allowed the CBI's appeal in the Babri Masjid demolition case and restored criminal conspiracy charges against Uma Bharti, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh.
However, Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1992, enjoys constitutional immunity as the Rajasthan Governor and can be tried only after he leaves office.
The apex court ordered that two separate cases in Lucknow and Raebareli against Advani, Joshi and Bharti and unknown 'kar sevaks' shall be brought together in one trial.
The Supreme Court also directed the trial court in Lucknow to commence the proceedings in four weeks and hear the matter on a day-to-day basis so as to complete the hearing in two years. The apex court also said there will be no 'de novo' (fresh) trial.
The CBI has been ordered to ensure that at least one prosecution witness appears in the trial court for recording of testimony.
To ensure speedy trial, the top court has given two important directions - first, no party shall be granted adjournments without the sessions judge being satisfied of the reasons for it; second, the trial judge hearing the case shall not be transferred till the judgement is delivered.
The Supreme Court also said that its order should be followed in letter and spirit. If the parties involved feel that the top court's order is not being followed in letter and spirit then they will be having the liberty to approach the apex court.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)