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Ayodhya verdict: Cong says it is in favour of Ram temple construction

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(Eds: Adding quotes) New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) The Congress on Saturday said it respects the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute and is in favour of construction of a Ram temple there. The Congress top brass discussed the Supreme Court verdict at a special meeting of the party's working committee and passed a resolution. The Congress Working Committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi passed the resolution that appealed to all parties concerned and all communities to "abide by the secular values and spirit of fraternity enshrined in the Constitution and to maintain peace and harmony". "It is the responsibility of each one of us to reaffirm our tradition of mutual respect and unity among all that has defined our society through the ages," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said quoting the resolution. The Congress said it was supportive of Ram temple construction and stated in the affirmative when asked about it. "The Supreme Court decision has come. Certainly yes, the Congress is in favour of Lord Ram's temple construction," he told reporters when asked about the party's stand on the Ram temple construction. Responding to another question, Surjewala said the Supreme Court decision in the Ayodhya case cannot be a matter of credit or discredit to any individual, group of people, community or political party. He said the Supreme Court has respected faith and belief. "Today's decision of the Supreme Court has opened the doors for Ram temple construction, but it has also permanently closed the doors for BJP and others to enjoy power by playing politics with the country's faith," he said. Lord Ram is known as a "symbol of sacrifice" for respecting his words and not for the "love of power", he said, adding that Ram's name can never be used to divide and anyone daring to do so does not understand the traditions of Lord Ram. He said everyone should respect the law and said the All India Muslim Law Board has also agreed to deeply respect the judgement. "Of course, everyone has the right to have their legal remedies and they can always choose to exercise their remedies. But as far as Congress is concerned, the Congress has adopted a resolution in this regard," he said. Surjewala also recalled that the land in question in Ayodhya was acquired during the Congress government in 1993. The Congress believes that the Supreme Court has given its verdict and all parties, people and communities should respect its verdict, he said. The Congress has a clear, consistent and unquestioned stand that whatever decision the Supreme Court gives should be respected and accepted by all and there is no doubt by anyone. PTI SKC ASK SKC SMN SMN

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