The Faizabad district administration would decide on Friday whether to allow Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP’s) proposed panch kosi parikrama in Ayodhya from September 22 till October 13.
This is seen as yet another saffron attempt to lock horns with the state government in order to keep the Ayodhya issue alive till the general elections.
That’s why undeterred by the clampdown on its 84 kosi parikrama across six districts, the VHP has now planned another parikrama, which like the previous 84 kosi one, doesn’t have a religious sanction at this time of the year.
Faizabad district magistrate VK Dwivedi and district police chief KB Singh are expected to meet on Friday evening in this connection.
“It’s very clear that this one too, like the 84 kosi parikrama before, is inspired more by politics than any religious activity. The period in which they propose to take out their parikrama will coincide with pitra paksh, a fortnight dedicated to the performance of rituals for departed ancestors and in which no auspicious tasks are carried out. Yet, such is their desperation to rake up Hindutva that they are willing to ignore even such factors, which hold great religious significance for the Hindus,” UP minister and Ayodhya MLA Pawan Pandey told HT.
But the saffron brigade is pressing hard with its parikrama, conscious of the fact that a clearance for their second yatra in as many months may not suit them as much as a ban would.
“We are not going to seek any permission for our parikrama. In Ayodhya there are saints who keep performing them through the year. Moreover, we had never sought sanction for 84 kosi as well. It’s a completely apolitical exercise for which we don’t need sanctions,” says VHP’s Ayodhya based spokesman Sharad Sharma.
Champat Rai, the VHP international general secretary, says that this time saints from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, assisted by nearly 100 saffron cadres in the temple town, would be participating in it. He said saints from Andhra Pradesh would be taking part in the parikrama for 10 days followed by ones from Karnataka for six while those from Kerala and Tamil Nadu would spend two days each.
Rai said the 84 kosi parikrama was planned by the VHP to thwart a secret bid by the Samajwadi Party government in UP and the UPA 2 government at the centre to come up with an Islamic centre in Ayodhya.