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The Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid demolition case may have brought its sidelined stalwarts into the spotlight but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to tread cautiously on the matter asking its leaders to downplay its import in public.
Party president Amit Shah's direction to Union minister Uma Bharti, who along with veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, will now be prosecuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for criminal conspiracy, to cancel her trip to Ayodhya hours after she announced it is a case in point, a party leader said.
BJP was also quick to dismiss reports last night that Shah had spoken to Advani.
Union minister Arun Jaitley had on Wednesday said that the case has been going on since 1993 and that no new situation has arisen.
"So the situation which was prevailing will continue," he had told reporters.
He had also virtually ruled out resignation of Bharti from the government following the court order and described as "hypothetical" the possibility of the ruling having any bearing in the selection of candidates for presidential and vice presidential polls.
While the saffron outfit would be happy with the Ram temple issue being pushed to the fore, it would not "jump the gun" on a matter decided by the apex court and let the issue rather pan out in courts.
A daily trial to be completed in two years will suit its interest as the Hindutva issue will continue to simmer till the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, the party has shown its adeptness in blending its cultural agenda with that of development and has reaped rich harvest, most notably in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
While it has not much to lose, the situation is different for Joshi and Advani, the latter in a twist of irony seeing his political future being dealt a body blow by an issue which made him a Hindutva icon in 90s as he led his party to an unprecedented electoral high before Modi bettered it in 2014.
The two former party presidents, who are now out of the organisation's decision-making bodies and are members of 'margdarshk mandal' which has never met, have so far maintained a silence over the verdict.
They had met yesterday and are believed to have discussed the political and legal implications of the issue.
Their names were doing the rounds as probable contenders for the posts of the president and the vice president, two top constitutional posts elections for which will be held in July and August respectively.
Yesterday's verdict is also seen as a blow to their prospects.