The high court’s stay has allowed Joshi the fig-leaf needed to stick on in the cabinet; from Advani’s point of view, a far safer bet than having the hrd minister on the outside, reinventing himself as an icon of the Ayodhya movement with the aid of his buddies in the VHP and meddling in party affairs. In the event of a similar stay on the framing of charges being granted to the other accused, notably Uma Bharati, the campaign for the assembly elections too can continue undisturbed.
In asking the high court to review the cbi special judge’s order discharging Advani and implicating all the other accused, Joshi’s lawyers invoke the possibility—and the risk for Advani—of the entire ruling being overturned. For the moment, however, says Congress MP and advocate R.K. Anand, it’s back to the legal treadmill for an indefinite period. On November 4, the high court will commence hearings on the review petition. As for vacating the stay, Anand feels that’s unlikely in the present scenario.