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Sangh Parivar meeting leads to speculation about December 6
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | December 04, 2002 10:22 IST
A secret meeting of the key constituents of the Sangh Parivar in Gorakhpur has aroused suspicions about the shape of things to come on December 6, the tenth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri masjid in Ayodhya.
Not only prominent leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, but each of the frontline leaders of the Ayodhya movement, including the sadhus, converged at the Gorakhnath temple for the meeting, which was presided over by Swami Vasudevanand, the Shankaracharya of Jyotirpeeth.
But it was the presence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan that attached greater significance to the meeting.
It was the first time that Sudarshan had visited Gorakhnath temple, controlled and run by Mahant Awaidhyanath and his successor Yogi Adityanath.
None of the participants were forthcoming about what transpired at the meeting. Even someone as vocal as Mahant Ramchandra Paramhans, the head of the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust, who specially drove down from Ayodhya, preferred to keep quiet. He was stated to be "too tired".
VHP chief Ashok Singhal, who sat through the four-hour-long meeting, avoided journalists who had got a whiff of the meeting.
Mahant Nritya Gopaldas, the well-known Ayodhya saint who had been keeping himself aloof from the temple movement for quite sometime, did attend the meeting, but chose to leave well before it actually concluded.
"I have another important task to attend to in Ayodhya, therefore I must leave," he told a journalist outside the heavily guarded Gorakhnath temple.
Asked if the meeting had something to do with the Sangh Parivar's plans to start construction of the Ram temple, Nrtiya Gopaldas said, "Well, Mahant Paramhans will tell you what it was about."
But Paramhans chose to zip off without a word. "I am too tired," he said.
VHP assistant secretary Rajendra Singh Pankaj later said, "You see, all these bigwigs had simply come here because of the RSS chief, who was coming to Gorakhpur for the first time."
Intelligence sources were, however, of the view that the meeting had been convened essentially to thrash out a final strategy for launching the construction of the Ayodhya temple.
On the other hand, a rival Hindu congregation, the well-known Juna Akhara of Naga sadhus was planning to undertake a countrywide signature campaign for the construction of the Ayodhya temple.
"The sadhus of Juna Akhara propose to seek the people's mandate with effect from December 6," Swami Arjunpuri, the Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara, told a press conference in Lucknow. He said, "In order to add strength and authenticity to the campaign, we will have every signatory to also put in his name and address."
The Akhara is not in favour of the VHP being entrusted with the task of temple construction. "The temple should be built only by sadhus and not by politicians or self-styled leaders of the Hindu community," he emphasised.
More reports from Uttar Pradesh
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