The Supreme Court on Friday pronounced the verdict in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case referring it for court-monitored mediation and appointing a three-member panel of mediators headed by former SC judge Justice (retd) F M I Kalifulla with spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
Responding to the Supreme Court's verdict, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid welcomed the mediation in Ayodhya matter saying that it can "show that path to a shared destiny of Hindus and Muslims".
He went onto call the Supreme Court order a "historic opportunity for Indians", declaring that there's no "winner-loser syndrome" anymore since the winners are 'Indians and India'.
Meanwhile, the Congress party on Thursday released the first list of candidates contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. As per the AICC statement, Salman Khurshid is set to contest from Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad constituency.
Pronouncing the verdict in the order on court-monitored mediation that it had reserved at the end of its hearing on Wednesday, the Supreme Court stated the mediation will take place in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad district, which was recently renamed as Ayodhya by the UP government.
The newly-appointed panel has been mandated to complete its mediation in eight weeks - by which time the Supreme Court documents pertaining to the case will have been translated and put in order with the consent of all the concerned parties. A progress report will have to be submitted to the apex court in four weeks. Also, no media coverage of the mediation in the case will be allowed.