New Delhi: Though long sidelined in the party, LK Advani was one name that sprang onto the memories of many a BJP leader on Saturday as the Supreme Court announced its historic verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case.

“I join all my countrymen in wholeheartedly welcoming the historic judgement delivered by the five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today in the Ayodhya matter,” the veteran leader said.

“It is a moment of fulfilment for me because God Almighty had given me an opportunity to make my own humble contribution to the mass movement, the biggest since India’s Freedom Movement, aimed at the outcome which SC’s verdict today has made possible,” Advani said.

On October 23, 1990, Advani’s chariot in which he was touring across India to garner support for the construction of a temple at the contested site was stopped by then Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Advani was detained. He was flown in an aircraft to a government guest house in Dumka (now in Jharkhand), before being released a few days later, a PTI report said.

In his autobiography, Lalu had recounted his interaction with Advani at that time. Rath Yatra plan was “pregnant with the grave possibility of driving Bihar back to 1989,” Lalu wrote.

On October 30 that year, 28 Karsevaks were killed in police action while trying to storm the Babri Masjid, which was finally felled on December 6, 1992, in the presence of Advani and a host of top BJP and VHP leaders. Advani is an accused in the case. That case is still going on. But after today’s verdict, a speedy judgment is expected in that criminal case also. In 2017, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were exempted from appearing in the court for daily hearings.