Two days after a VHP delegation met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to facilitate the “Chaurasi kos padyatra” in Ayodhya and use the party’s influence among Muslims to smooth the way for the Ram temple, the state government banned the rally.
The move comes after the SP had come under fire for meeting the VHP leaders. While BSP chief Mayawati had accused it of cosying up to the Sangh Parivar, senior SP leader Azam Khan said the meeting had sent a wrong message to the Muslims.
Principal Secretary, home, RM Srivastava said the traditional chaurasi kos padyatra organised by the pilgrims visiting Ayodhya is completed between April 25 and May 20.
“But the new date — between August 25 and September 13 – would create a new tradition and might create a law and order problem. If the VHP insists on holding it, the state government would deal with it firmly.”
Srivastava said the decision to refuse permission was taken on basis of a Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court order of May 9, 2011, in which the state was asked to stop any activity in the disputed area.
The Supreme Court, too, had directed the government to maintain status quo in the disputed area, he said.
But the VHP, through the yatra, had planned to mobilise people for the temple construction. Along with sadhus from Ayodhya, it was mobilising supporters from other states as well.
The rally was to cover six districts — Faizabad, Barabanki, Bahraich, Gonda, Ambedkarnagar and Basti.
Yogi Adityanath not allowed to visit Jhansi
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath was forced to de-board the Kushi Nagar Express on Monday following the ban on his entry in Jhansi.
The administration feared that his arrival to attend the Jal-Abhishek at famous Mahakaleshwar temple could lead to communal trouble.
Adityanath was moved to a bird sanctuary in Unnao, from where he went to Lucknow and took a flight to Delhi.
The BJP described the detention as brazen trampling of democracy. “How can one be stopped in this fashion? They (officials) mocked the democracy and the constitution,” said BJP legislator Satish Mahana.