VHP gathers stones for Ram temple, Ayodhya litigants see poll ploy

  • Sachchidanand Shukla, Hindustan Times, Ayodhya
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2015 01:25 IST
Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das does ‘shila pujan’ at VHP office in Ayodhya, on December 20. (HT Photo)

Fresh lots of stones meant for construction of Ram Temple arrived at the office of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ayodhya, prompting the stakeholders of the Ayodhya dispute to speak out against what they called was a political stunt.

Two trucks of stones were unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property, on Sunday and nearly 75,000 cubic feet of stones were still awaited, according to representatives of the right-wing party. A ceremony was performed by Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahanta Nritya Gopal Das shortly afterwards.

Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in the case, said the ‘shila pujan’ performed on the new stones may harm the atmosphere and asserted that he wanted peace to prevail in the country.

Ansari said the issue was being used to generate political heat on the directions of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Another plaintiff Haji Mehboob said both Hindus and Muslims could see through the drama being enacted by the VHP.

“Everybody knows that the final decision will be that of the Supreme Court. Accelerating the stone carving process is just a political stunt,” he added.

VHP state spokesman Sharad Sharma told HT that “the dreams of Ashok Singhal and Ramchandra Paramhansa Das to construct a grand Ram temple would come true very soon”.

To a question, Sharma said stone carving work was being done at the Ayodhya workshop regularly since 1990 except for a short break been 2007-2010. He added that about 65% of the carving work had been completed.

Rejecting any political motive behind the arrival of a fresh lot of stones, he said it happened after a gap of eight years since there were either no funds to buy the stones or they were unavailable.

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