- Uma Bharti cancels Ayodhya visit that she announced few hours ago
- Ms Bharti, others to be tried for conspiracy in Babri case: Top court
- PM Modi met core group leaders in the evening; discussed verdict: sources
At a press conference earlier today, the 57-year-old saffron-robed minister had announced her plan to travel from Delhi to Ayodhya tonight and offer prayers -"say thank you and express gratitude to the temple movement," Ms Bharti said. She was booked on the Kaifiyat Express train, but the tickets have been cancelled.
The BJP's top leadership is seen to have intervened. Word that Ms Bharti had called off her trip came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting of a core group of party leaders. Ms Bharti was not among them.
The Supreme Court verdict was discussed at the Prime Minister's meeting, sources said, it was decided that leaders must be cautious in the way they react to the verdict.
Ms Bharti met BJP chief Amit Shah and was told to call off her visit. Ms Bharti is expected to officially explain that she is not going to Ayodhya because she is needed in Delhi to campaign for the civic elections to be held on Sunday.
The "Ram temple will be built," Ms Bharti asserted this morning, also emphatically denying that there was a conspiracy. "There was no conspiracy, everything was out in the open," said the minister, who has been accused along with the other leaders by the CBI of plotting to bring down the 16th century mosque. She ruled out resigning.
Ms Bharti is the only Union Minister ordered by the top court today to stand trial. Kalyan Singh, a former chief minister of UP, is now a Governor and so has immunity from prosecution. The court said Mr Singh will be tried after his term in office.
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.
The minister and other leaders are also being tried for making speeches that investigators allege provoked lakhs of karsevaks or volunteers to bring down the mosque on December 6, 1992.