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Togadia uses Kumbh to fan Ayodhya movement

The VHP choose the Nasik Mahakumbh to fan the Ayodhya campaign ahead of the assembly elections scheduled in five states.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2003 15:23 IST

Choosing the Nashik Mahakumbh to fan the Ayodhya campaign ahead of coming assembly polls in five states, the VHP today said a "massive movement" would be launched across the country if the Centre did not enact a law for the Ram temple.

"As Parliament is not making a law for a temple in Ram Janmabhoomi, all our routes have been closed except a popular movement (prachar and Jan Aandolan). If the government does not repeat our views because of Muslim vote bank, then the nation will have to be ready for a mass movement," VHP General Secretary Pravin Togadia told reporters here.

Asked how much support he got from the sant and Sadhu community here on temple issue, he said "I have met three mahants (head priests) who offered their support." He, however, did not name them.

When reminded that many of the mahants and sadhus are opposing him saying "they are holy men and it is my policy not to react to anything that the Sants say."

"He is not the real Shankaracharya of Puri. He has nothing to do with Puri. He is being backed by the Communists," he claimed.

Togadia did not touch at Tapowan where some sadhus had threatened to boycott him. He, however, said his skirting of the Tapovan was because of "time constraints."

Togadia said the temple movement would not be made an issue in the coming assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Delhi.

"We will keep the temple movement away from the four states till the polls get over. We don't want to make Ram temple an electoral issue either for BJP or Congress," Togadia added.

He said the meeting of sants and VHP on September 13 will decide the further course of action on temple movement.

In spite of the strong opposition expressed by many head priests of Akhadas against his presence in Kumbh, Togadia claimed all the akhadas had fought together for the construction of Ram temple. "On specifics, there may be differences, but ideologically we remain together for the temple construction."

When reporters persisted with opposition of the holy men, Togadia said "let the people decide who is doing the right thing."

"No sant has told me individually that I am wrong in my stance on Hindutva," he said.
Asked if he would distribute tridents in Nasik, the VHP leader said the local unit of VHP has not informed him about its readiness. "If they tell me, I will distribute tridents," he said.

VHP Nasik unit meanwhile has organised a two day meeting of some 6000 'Vanvaasis' (tribals) and they will participate in t he royal bath of 27th of August.

Togadia said VHP wanted to dispel the propaganda by Communists and Christians that the tribals are not Hindus, and for this purpose organise the holy dip for vanvasis.

First Published: Aug 15, 2003 15:23 IST