New Delhi: Welcoming the historic judgment in the Ayodhya land dispute case, veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday said he stands vindicated by the unanimous verdict of the five-judge Constitution bench.

“I stand vindicated, and feel deeply blessed, that the Supreme Court has given its unanimous verdict paving the way for the construction of a magnificent temple for Lord Ram at Ramjanmabhhomi in Ayodhya,” he said in a statement.

Describing it as “a moment of fulfilment”, Advani says he now has an opportunity to “make my own humble contribution to the mass movement”.

“I have always stressed that Ram and Ramayana occupy an esteemed place in India’s cultural and civilisational heritage and Ramjanmabhoomi holds a special and sacred place in the hearts of crores of our countrymen in India and abroad. Therefore, it is gratifying that their belief and sentiments have been respected,” he said, also welcoming the apex court’s decision to allot five acres of land at a prominent place for the building of a mosque in Ayodhya.

Advani said the judgement is the culmination of a long and contentious process that played itself out in various forums – both judicial and non-judicial – over the past many decades.

“Now that the prolonged Mandir-Masjid dispute in Ayodhya has come to an end, the time has come to leave all contention and acrimony behind and embrace communal concord and peace. Towards this end, I appeal to all sections of our diverse society to work together to strengthen India’s national unity and integrity,” he said.

Advani is one of the troika, including Ramchandra Das and Ashok Singhal, who shaped the Ram Mandir movement. Advani is the politician most influential in crafting the course of the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. Unlike former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his closest confidant in politics, Advani chose to become the hardline face of the temple movement. While Vajpayee was more comfortable with often being referred to as wearing a mukhauta (mask), Advani led from the front.

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