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VHP to back BJP candidates in HP

The VHP said that the decision to support the BJP was taken in view of the party's acceptance of the VHP's Hindu agenda.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2003 13:06 IST

Expressing satisfaction over the BJP's "acceptance of the Hindu agenda", the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Saturday announced its support to the party candidates in the forthcoming assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh.

Talking to reporters here, the VHP's state unit chief Gian Sanhotra said that the decision to support the BJP was taken in view of the party's acceptance of the VHP's Hindu agenda and its incorporation in the manifesto.

He said that commitment to cultural nationalism, setting up of cow protection council, bringing a bill to ban religious conversions, constituting autonomous trusts for temple management and stopping infiltration of terrorists in temples were some of the main issues which the BJP had included in its poll agenda and the VHP was satisfied with it.

He said senior VHP leaders, including central secretary Surinder Jain, would address public meetings in support of BJP candidates and over 5,000 active workers of VHP would campaign for the party and distribute pamphlets for mobilisation of voters.

He alleged that the interests of Hindus, who constituted 98 per cent of the total population in Himachal Pradesh, were always ignored and asked the state government to stop the appeasement of minorities.

He said VHP general secretary Parveen Togadia was currently busy with the dharam sansad and his availability for poll campaign could not be confirmed.

Sanhotra also demanded that the undisputed land in Ayodhya be handed over to Ram temple trust, so that the construction of temple could be undertaken.

First Published: Feb 15, 2003 16:52 IST