The Congress on Friday favoured a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya issue saying all right thinking people should work for a compromise within the next three months in wake of the Allahabad high court verdict.
At the same time, All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh made it clear that the crime of demolition of Babri Masjid has not been diluted by the verdict and all the guilty should be punished.
"Absolutely not," was the cryptic response of Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, when asked whether the verdict has condoned the act of demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya.
Asked about Congress' view on political fallout of the verdict, Singh said, "Congress has been saying that the issue should not be linked with politics."
"Not only the government, but all right thinking people should work for a negotiated settlement. From our side, we will try for a settlement. The issue should be resolved," he said.
Singh said that the party will respect the judicial pronouncement but added that there are three months for filing an appeal and a negotiated settlement can be worked out in this period.
Warning Bharatiya Janata Party against politicising the issue, he termed the statement of party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad as 'offensive.'
Singh, who is known for spitting venom against the Sangh Parivar, said the statement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sanghsa chief Mohan Bhagwat on the verdict was better than that of the BJP veteran L K Advani.
On whether the Muslims were angry with the Congress after the judgement, he said, "I do not look at it politically. No one should do politics with such a sensitive issue. I do not see it in terms of political gains or losses."
Congratulating the people of the country for showing sagacity, wisdom and patience in the wake of the verdict, Singh said that this was "commendable".
He refused to comment on Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's statement that he was disappointed over the verdict as it was based upon faith.