New Delhi: Union minister Uma Bharti has said she is headed to Ayodhya tonight, asserting that a "Ram temple will be built." This morning the Supreme Court said that Ms Bharti, along with other top leaders of the BJP like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992.
Ms Bharti emphatically denied there was a conspiracy. "There was no conspiracy, everything was out in the open," she said, echoing her party colleague Vinay Katiyar when she stated, "I am ready to go to prison or be hanged for India and for the Ram Mandir.
She will visit Ayodhya, the 57-year-old saffron-robed minister said, to "say thank you and express gratitude to the temple movement." She emphasised that she has not spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about today's developments, rejecting calls for her resignation.
Ms Bharti, Mr Advani, Vinay Katiyar and 10 other leaders have been accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI of plotting to bring down the 16th century Babri mosque, which was razed by lakhs of karsevaks or volunteers on December 6, 1992. The leaders were present on a platform near the mosque and are also being tried for making speeches that investigators allege provoked the karsevaks to bring down the mosque.
Ms Bharti is a prominent leader of the movement to build a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood. The Supreme Court is hearing the dispute on who the site belongs to.