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BJP to tread emotive path again

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 01:18 IST
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BUOYED BY civic poll results, the BJP is all set to fall back on its time-tested emotive issues of Hindutva and Ram Janmabhoomi in wake of the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election.

BJP national vice-president and former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s repeated assertions on construction of the temple at the dispute site and end to ‘humiliation’ of Hindus have set the tone for the BJP campaign. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the RSS are coming out in support of the BJP, though in a discreet manner.

Admitting that the party has decided to rake up the emotive temple and Hindutva agenda on poll-eve, an office-bearer of the State BJP claimed that the issues could help the party in a big way in the absence of any other issues to grab Hindu votes.  

The BJP-VHP-RSS combine are also planning programmes in a manner that keeps the Hindutva plank and civic poll result in focus till the assembly election, said a senior BJP leader and former minister.

The stance reasserted the saffron brigade’s faith that the emotive issues and the focus on increasing terrorism, Muslim appeasement and ‘humiliation of Hindus’ could benefit the BJP at the hustings.

A BJP leader told HT, the RSS had already mobilized its frontal organizations to campaign for the BJP. They were essentially concentrating on the BJP weak spot — rural UP, he added. The RSS, he said, would use separate publicity material to drum up support for the BJP and attack the UPA and the Mulayam governments.

The VHP has intensified its activities in UP and senior leaders, including Ashok Singhal, are camping in Ayodhya ostensibly to oppose the proposed visit of Jagatguru Shankracharya Swami Swaroopanandji Maharaj. VHP leader Dr Pravin Togadia is also beginning his weeklong visit of the State from Thursday.

Despite the reported unhappiness of the VHP with the BJP stand and role on various issues, including Janmabhoomi, the outfit leadership is holding hectic parleys in Ayodhya on ways to revive the temple issue. Office-bearers of the Mandir Nirman Ucchadhikar Samiti and the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas are also in Ayodhya to help the VHP in finalize its plans.

To exploit the religious sentiments of Hindus, the VHP has announced rallies at district and tehsil headquarters till December 6, which the outfit celebrates as ‘Shourya Diwas’. Interestingly, Muslims organizations observe ‘Black Day’ on December 6 to protest the demolition.

To step up the tempo, the BJP will hold its national working committee and Rashtriya Parishad meetings in Lucknow on December 22 and 23. National BJP president Rajnath Singh is likely to get the nod for another term at the meets.

At the Lucknow rally on the eve of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday (December 25), top BJP leaders would blow the bugle to intensify the struggle for winning back UP.