Ayodhya: Centre gets VHP threat, Mulayam plea | india | Hindustan Times
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Ayodhya: Centre gets VHP threat, Mulayam plea

The tussle between the Uttar Pradesh government and the VHP over the Sangh outfit's October 17 sankalp sammelan programme in Ayodhya intensified on Monday. A day after Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee said he was sure the VHP's programme would remain peaceful, UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav asked the Centre to rein in the Sangh outfit. And VHP leader Praveen Togadia warned the central and state governments that "communal violence" could erupt if Ram bhakts were prevented from going to Ayodhya for the programme.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2003 01:20 IST

The tussle between the Uttar Pradesh government and the VHP over the Sangh outfit's October 17 sankalp sammelan programme in Ayodhya intensified on Monday.

A day after Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee said he was sure the VHP's programme would remain peaceful, UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav asked the Centre to rein in the Sangh outfit. And VHP leader Praveen Togadia warned the central and state governments that "communal violence" could erupt if Ram bhakts were prevented from going to Ayodhya for the programme.

Yadav called Minister of State for Home Swami Chinmayanand wanting to know what the Centre was doing in this regard. On Sunday, he and SP leader Amar Singh had alleged that Chinmayanand had drawn up the October 17 programme. Chinmayanand has been closely associated with VHP's Ram temple movement.

Confirming that Yadav called him, Chinmayanand said he told the UP chief minister whenever people had tried to make political capital from an issue, the situation had worsened. "Mulayam’s comments will only vitiate the atmosphere further," he added.

Yadav is also believed to have sought additional central paramilitary forces. Home Ministry sources said his request ''had been considered'', but was unlikely to be entertained because plans were being prepared to send forces to the five states where elections are due soon.

Meanwhile, the UP government continued its crackdown on the VHP. Security was tightened and 4,500 VHP men held. The state also decided not to allow VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore and Togadia into Ayodhya.

At a press conference, Togadia launched a broadside, directed largely at Vajpayee. “The Centre should allow Ram bhakts to go to Ayodhya and the Mulayam Singh Yadav government should allow them a darshan of Ram lalla. If the country plunges into communal violence, Vajpayee will be responsible,” he said.

Togadia also asked Vajpayee to clarify whose side he was on. “Vajpayee should decide whether he is supporting Mulayam or the Ram bhakts,” he said. Togadia accused both Yadav and Vajpayee of repression against Hindus.

The VHP hardliner also held out a threat saying the NDA government should remember that the Ram temple movement had dislodged the Congress from the Centre and could do the same even today "to those who carried out repression on Hindus".

Later at night, however, Togadia issued a clarification saying the VHP programme would remain peaceful, but if Ram bhakts were repressed, jehadis would foment violence.

(With inputs from Lucknow)