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Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar says Ayodhya was Buddhism centre, demands renaming Ayodhya as Saket

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad visited Ayodhya on Monday and said the temple town was a centre of Buddhism in ancient times and demanded building a Buddhist vihar at the disputed site.

lucknow Updated: Nov 27, 2018 10:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Timse, Lucknow
ayodhya,bhim army,chandrashekhar azad
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has demanded renaming Ayodhya as Saket. (HT File )

A day after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organised Dharam Sansad in Ayodhya to press for construction of Ram temple, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad aka Ravan visited the temple town on Monday and demanded construction of a Buddhist Vihar at the disputed site.

Talking to media persons, Chandrashekhar said: “During ancient times, Ayodhya was a centre of Buddhism and was known as Saket. The city should be renamed as Saket and a Buddhist Vihar be constructed at the disputed site.”

Turning down the proposal of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati to merge Bhim Army with her party, Chandrashekhar said his organisation was working on social issues to fulfil the dream of BSP founder Kanshi Ram.

“If the Congress considers itself a well-wisher of the downtrodden, it should project Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha election,” he said.

Refuting Mayawati’s allegation that the Bhim Army had been propped up by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to divide Dalit votes of the BSP, he said Bhim Army would not contest Lok Sabha election.

“We will work to remove the BJP from power,” he said.

Chandrashekhar said he decided to visit Ayodhya after the members of Dalit, Backward and Muslim communities informed him that they were intimidated by the volunteers of the VHP.

He urged the officials of the district administration to ensure the safety of all the communities.

On the occasion of the Constitution Day, Bhim Army members also handed over a copy of the Constitution to Ayodhya DM Anil Kumar.

“Former BSP leader Daddu Prasad who had launched Samajik Parivartan Manch will join hands with Bhim Army. A founder member of BSP, Prasad enjoys considerable influence in Bundelkhand region. The Bhim Army plans to spread its base in Central UP and Bundelkhand,” Chandrashekhar said.

He said in its bid to weaken the movement launched by Bhim Army, the state government lodged fake cases against him. “The Bhim Army can neither be intimidated nor purchased. It will continue to create awareness among Dalits,” he added.

Accepting his proximity with Congress leader Imran Masood, Chandrashekhar said a large number of Muslims were supporting Bhim Army in west UP.

He also met the members of the local unit of Bhim Army and district administration officials.

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 10:46 IST