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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Reconsider ban on religious rights of Hindus, says Rajnath

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, August 23, 2013
First Published: 10:25 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:28 IST(23/8/2013)

Two days ahead of the now banned chaurasi kos parikrama from Ayodhya, BJP chief Rajnath Singh called upon the UP government to reconsider its ban on the “religious right” of the Hindus.

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Questioning the government ban on the VHP’s show beginning Sunday, he asked how could 200 odd saints, who would be part of the circumambulatory pilgrimage, pose any kind of threat or difficulty to the government which had a massive security paraphernalia at its disposal.

“The same security that the government has used to ensure the ban could have been used to ensure the pilgrimage went off smoothly,” he said soon after his arrival on a two-day visit to Lucknow on Thursday.

Rajnath’s backing of the VHP sponsored yatra, through which the saffron brigade plans to whip up temple sentiments all over again, clearly indicated that the BJP was aware that the ‘Ayodhya plan’ could give a push to the party’s ‘Delhi plan’ during the next general election.

Attending a book release function at his 4 Kalidas Marg residence in Lucknow, which shares its boundary with the UP chief minister’s official residence, Rajnath also mentioned about the BJP aiming for ‘272 plus’ seats.

The BJP hopes the Ayodhya controversy and the expected polarization could aid in this direction.

No wonder, immediately after his arrival, Rajnath started slamming the UP government for banning the pilgrimage, which has already been taken out in April this year.

Rajnath also said the government’s concern over the fallout of the Ayodhya pilgrimage was misplaced.

“The government says there could be trouble if the pilgrimage was cleared. It’s strange that how a few sadhus are being talked of as a threat to the government,” he said adding, the UP government had no right to continue if it could not ensure the pilgrimage.

“If this government cannot provide security to the saints, it has no right to continue in office. The people of UP would give a befitting reply to the Samajwadi Party for its undemocratic and unlawful ban on the pilgrimage,” said a BJP release.


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