UP Congress instructs leaders not to give contradictory comments on Ayodhya judgment

To ensure that Congress does not look divided on crucial issues, party's Uttar Pradesh unit has instructed its leaders not to speak in different languages on the Supreme Court's judgement in Ayodhya case which is expected to be pronounced later this month.

At an Uttar Pradesh Congress Advisory Committee meeting, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Monday instructed leaders not to make any statement immediately after the court's decision and wait for the party's official stand.

According to a source in the Congress, it was decided that no leader will make any comment unless the party's central leadership issues a written statement on the judgment. All leaders have been instructed to make statements as per the official stand, the source said.

The instruction is part of the party's efforts to not to repeat the situation post abrogation of Article 370 when several of its leaders including seniors went against the official party stand to support the move.

Congress had opposed in Parliament the "illegal and unconstitutional" move but several of its leaders such as BS Hooda, Jyotiradityan Scindia, Milind Deora, Janardan Dwivedi and others had supported the government.

Since the Ayodhya issue has a significant role in UP politics, Congress wants to put up a united front on the judgement regardless to which side it favours.

"The decision of the Supreme Court is going to directly affect the politics of UP so it is very important for political parties, especially for the Congress, that they should be cautious about the issue," a source told ANI.

According to sources, the possibility of the pronouncement of judgement was also raised at a meeting of general secretaries which was chaired by party interim president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday.

The Supreme Court is expected to pronounce its judgement in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case before November 17 when Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi demits office.